Dosimetry and radioprotection evaluations of very high energy electron beams
AbstractVery high energy electrons (VHEEs) represent a promising alternative for the treatment of deep-seated tumors over conventional radiotherapy (RT), owing to their favourable dosimetric characteristics. Given the high energy of the electrons, one of the concerns has been the production of photoneutrons. In this article we explore the consequence, in terms of neutron yield in a water phantom, of using a typical electron applicator in conjunction with a 2 GeV and 200 MeV VHEE beam. Additionally, we evaluate the resulting ambient neutron dose equivalent at various locations between the phantom and a concrete wall. Through Monte Carlo (MC) simulations it was found that an applicator acts to reduce the depth of the dose build-up region, giving rise to lower exit doses but higher entrance doses. Furthermore, neutrons are injected into the entrance region of the phantom. The highest dose equivalent found was approximately 1.7 mSv/Gy in the vicinity of the concrete wall. Nevertheless, we concluded that configurations of VHEEs studied in this article are similar to conventional proton therapy treatments in terms of their neutron yield and ambient dose equivalent. Therefore, a clinical implementation of VHEEs would likely not warrant additional radioprotection safeguards compared to conventional RT treatments.