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Measuring Neutron Activation of Cardiac Devices Irradiated During Proton Therapy Using Indium Foils

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K Delaney

S Avery , J christodouleas , K Delaney*, E Diffenderfer , K Brown , UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, Sicklerville, NJ


SU-E-T-557 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Measuring Neutron Activation of Cardiac devices Irradiated during Proton Therapy using Indium Foils
Methods: The foils had dimensions of 25mm x 25mm x 1mm. After being activated, the foils were placed in a Canberra Industries well chamber utilizing a NaI(Tl) scintillation detector. The resulting gamma spectrum was acquired and analyzed using Genie 2000 spectroscopy software. One activation foil was placed over the upper, left chest of RANDO where a pacemaker would be. The rest of the foils were placed over the midline of the patient at different distances, providing a spatial distribution over the phantom. Using lasers and BBs to align the patient, 200 MU square fields were delivered to various treatment sites: the brain, the pancreas, and the prostate. Each field was shot at least a day apart, giving more than enough time for activity of the foil to decay (t1=2 = 54.12 min).

Results: The net counts (minus background) of the three aforementioned peaks were used for our measurements. These counts were adjusted to account for detector efficiency, relative photon yields from decay, and the natural abundance of 115-In. The average neutron flux for the closed multi-leaf collimator irradiation was measured to be 1.62 x 106 _ 0.18 x 106 cm2 s-1. An order of magnitude estimate of the flux for neutrons up to 1 keV from Diffenderfer et al. gives 3 x 106 cm2 s-1 which does agree on the order of magnitude.

Conclusion: Lower energy neutrons have higher interaction cross-sections and are more likely to damage pacemakers. The thermal/slow neutron component may be enough to estimate the overall risk. The true test of the applicability of activation foils is whether or not measurements are capable of predicting cardiac device malfunction. For that, additional studies are needed to provide clinical evidence one way or the other.

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