Comparative analysis of MCNPX and GEANT4 for fast neutron radiation treatment planning
The paper presents a comparative analysis of the MCNPX and GEANT4 simulation codes in radiation treatment planning tasks for fast neutron therapy. Different voxel phantoms were used in this study. A water voxel phantom was used to estimate the secondary particle spectrum. Different homogeneous tissue phantoms were used to compare the dependence of the physical absorbed dose on the tissue type. Finally, two algorithms for voxel aggregation were developed and implemented in the Python programming language to convert medical DICOM images obtained using computer tomography at MRRC, Obninsk, Russia.
MCNPX 2.5e and GEANT-4.9.5p02 were used in this study on the Intel Xeon E5506 2.13 GHz workstation in a single-processor mode. Data preparation and post-simulation analysis were performed using the programs developed by the authors and written in Python with Numpy and Matplotlib Libraries.
The simulation time, physical absorbed dose and dose error were measured during the study. The results showed that the MCNP kerma-evaluation can be faster and more accurate than any other method, but the dose on the surface (i.e. patient’s skin) is assessed incorrectly as the secondary particles and proton equilibrium are not taken into consideration by this method. Homogeneous tissue phantom simulation is much more time-consuming than water phantom simulation, but inhomogeneous structures (i.e. real patient geometry) have comparable simulation time. Work to improve the voxel-based geometry phantom representation will be continued.
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