The purpose of this work was to compare the risk of developing a second cancer after craniospinal irradiation using photon versus proton radiotherapy by means of simulation studies designed to account for the effects of neutron exposures. Craniospinal irradiation of a male phantom was calculated for passively-scattered and scanned-beam proton treatment units. Organ doses were estimated from treatment plans; for the proton treatments, the amount of stray radiation was calculated separately using the Monte Carlo method. The organ doses were converted to risk of cancer incidence using a standard formalism developed for radiation protection purposes. The total lifetime risk of second cancer due exclusively to stray radiation was 1.5% for the passively scattered treatment versus 0.8% for the scanned proton beam treatment. Taking into account the therapeutic and stray radiation fields, the risk of second cancer from intensity-modulated radiation therapy and conventional radiotherapy photon treatments were 7 and 12 times higher than the risk associated with scanned-beam proton therapy, respectively, and 6 and 11 times higher than with passively scattered proton therapy, respectively. Simulations revealed that both passively scattered and scanned-beam proton therapies confer significantly lower risks of second cancers than 6 MV conventional and intensity-modulated photon therapies. © 2009 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Newhauser, W., Fontenot, J., Mahajan, A., Kornguth, D., Stovall, M., Zheng, Y., Taddei, P., Mirkovic, D., Mohan, R., Cox, J., & Woo, S. (2009). The risk of developing a second cancer after receiving craniospinal proton irradiation. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 54 (8), 2277-2291. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/54/8/002