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Comparing DNA Strand Break Yields for Photons Under Different Irradiation Conditions with Geant4-DNA

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P Pater

P Pater1*, M Bernal2, I El Naqa1, J Seuntjens1, (1) McGill University, Montreal, QC, (2) Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin, Campinas, Brasil

SU-E-T-5 Sunday 3:00:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To validate and scrutinize published DNA strand break data with Geant4-DNA and a probabilistic model. To study the impact of source size, electronic equilibrium and secondary electron tracking cutoff on direct relative biological effectiveness (DRBE).

Methods: Geant4 (v4.9.5) was used to simulate a cylindrical region of interest (ROI) with r = 15 nm and length = 1.05 mm, in a slab of liquid water of 1.06 g/cm³ density. The ROI was irradiated with mono-energetic photons, with a uniformly distributed volumetric isotropic source (0.28, 1.5 keV) or a plane beam (0.662, 1.25 MeV), of variable size. Electrons were tracked down to 50 or 10 eV, with G4-DNA processes and energy transfer greater than 10.79 eV was scored. Based on volume ratios, each scored event had a 0.0388 probability of happening on either DNA helix (break). Clusters of at least one break on each DNA helix within 3.4 nm were found using a DBSCAN algorithm and categorized as double strand breaks (DSB). All other events were categorized as single strand breaks (SSB).

Results: Geant4-DNA is able to reproduce strand break yields previously published. Homogeneous irradiation conditions should be present throughout the ROI for DRBE comparisons. SSB yields seem slightly dependent on the primary photon energy. DRBEs show a significant increasing trend for lower energy incident photons. A lower electron cutoff produces higher SSB yields, but decreases the SSB/DSB yields ratio. The probabilistic and geometrical DNA models can predict equivalent results.

Conclusions: Using Geant4, we were able to reproduce previously published results on the direct strand break yields of photon and study the importance of irradiation conditions. We also show an ascending trend for DRBE with lower incident photon energies. A probabilistic model coupled with track structure analysis can be used to simulate strand break yields.

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