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Influence of Proton Track-Cell Nucleus Incidence Angle On Relative Biological Effectiveness

P Pater

P Pater1*, G Backstrom1 , S Enger1 , F Villegas2 , A Ahnesjo2 , J Seuntjens1 , I El Naqa1 , (1) McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, (2) Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden


SU-E-T-494 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To explain a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation artifact whereby differences in relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in the induction of initial double strand breaks are observed as a function of the proton track incidence angles in a geometric cell nucleus model. Secondly, to offer an alternative isotropic irradiation procedure to mitigate this effect.

Methods: MC tracks of 1 MeV protons were generated in an event-by-event mode. They were overlaid on a cylindrical model of a cell nucleus containing 6x109 nucleotide base pairs. The tracks incidence angle θ with respect to the cell nucleus’s axis was varied in 10 degrees intervals, each time generating one hundred fractions of ~2 Gy. Strand breaks were scored in the modeled DNA sugar-phosphate groups and further sub-classified into single or double strand breaks (ssbs or dsbs). For each angle, an RBE for the induction of initial dsbs with reference to Co-60 was calculated.

Results: Our results show significant angular dependencies of RBE, with maximum values for incidence angles parallel to the nucleus central axis. Further examination shows that the higher cross-sections for the creation of dsbs is due to the preferential alignment of tracks with geometrical sub-parts of the cell nucleus model, especially the nucleosomes containing the sugar-phosphate groups. To alleviate the impact of this simulation artifact, an average RBE was calculated with a procedure based on a weighted sampling of the angular data.

Conclusion: This work demonstrates a possible numerical artifact in estimated RBE if the influence of the particle incidence angle is not correctly taken into account. A correction procedure is presented to better conform the simulations to real-life experimental conditions.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: We would like to acknowledge support from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec Sante (FRQS), from the CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network grant (number 432290) of NSERC, support from NSERC under grants RGPIN 397711-11 and RGPIN-2014-06475 and support from the CIHR under grants MOP-114910, MOP-136774 and MOP-102550.

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