The FLUKA Monte Carlo code coupled with an OER model for biologically weighted dose calculations in proton therapy of hypoxic tumors
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPhysica Medica. 2020, 76, 166-172. 10.1016/j.ejmp.2020.07.003
Introduction The increased radioresistance of hypoxic cells compared to well-oxygenated cells is quantified by the oxygen enhancement ratio (OER). In this study we created a FLUKA Monte Carlo based tool for inclusion of both OER and relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in biologically weighted dose (ROWD) calculations in proton therapy and applied this to explore the impact of hypoxia. Methods The RBE-weighted dose was adapted for hypoxia by making RBE model parameters dependent on the OER, in addition to the linear energy transfer (LET). The OER depends on the partial oxygen pressure (pO2) and LET. To demonstrate model performance, calculations were done with spread-out Bragg peaks (SOBP) in water phantoms with pO2 ranging from strongly hypoxic to normoxic (0.01–30 mmHg) and with a head and neck cancer proton plan optimized with an RBE of 1.1 and pO2 estimated voxel-by-voxel using [18F]-EF5 PET. An RBE of 1.1 and the Rørvik RBE model were used for the ROWD calculations. Results The SOBP in water had decreasing ROWD with decreasing pO2. In the plans accounting for oxygenation, the median target doses were approximately a factor 1.1 lower than the corresponding plans which did not consider the OER. Hypoxia adapted target ROWDs were considerably more heterogeneous than the RBE1.1-weighted doses. Conclusion We realized a Monte Carlo based tool for calculating the ROWD. Read-in of patient pO2 and estimation of ROWD with flexibility in choice of RBE model was achieved, giving a tool that may be useful in future clinical applications of hypoxia-guided particle therapy.