High-Let Modalities

Authored by: Roland Sabattier , Oliver Jäkel , Alejandro Mazal

Handbook of Radiotherapy Physics

Print publication date:  June  2007
Online publication date:  June  2007

Print ISBN: 9780750308601
eBook ISBN: 9781420012026
Adobe ISBN:


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The interest in neutron beams in radiation therapy is based solely on their radio biological effectiveness (Raju 1980; Withers 1985; Griffin et al. 1988; see also Section 7.14). The depth-dose characteristics of the early neutron beams were poor, resembling those of kilovoltage x-ray and 60Co γ-ray beams (Fowler 1975). In Table 49.1 it can be seen that the depth–dose characteristics of the current neutron facilities resemble those of 4-MV to 8-MV x-ray beams. The very high density of ionisation (or high LET [linear energy transfer]) along the path of secondary particles in neutron-irradiated media is associated with a greater response of (radio-resistant) tumours and the reduced influence of conditions such as oxygen status, cell line, mitotic cycle and repair phenomena (see Section 7.14).

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