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Phys Med Biol. 2013 May 7;58(9):2879-99. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/9/2879. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Distributions of secondary particles in proton and carbon-ion therapy: a comparison between GATE/Geant4 and FLUKA Monte Carlo codes.

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IMNC-UMR 8165 CNRS, Universités Paris 7 et Paris 11, Bât 440, F-91 406 Orsay, France.


Monte Carlo simulations play a crucial role for in-vivo treatment monitoring based on PET and prompt gamma imaging in proton and carbon-ion therapies. The accuracy of the nuclear fragmentation models implemented in these codes might affect the quality of the treatment verification. In this paper, we investigate the nuclear models implemented in GATE/Geant4 and FLUKA by comparing the angular and energy distributions of secondary particles exiting a homogeneous target of PMMA. Comparison results were restricted to fragmentation of (16)O and (12)C. Despite the very simple target and set-up, substantial discrepancies were observed between the two codes. For instance, the number of high energy (>1 MeV) prompt gammas exiting the target was about twice as large with GATE/Geant4 than with FLUKA both for proton and carbon ion beams. Such differences were not observed for the predicted annihilation photon production yields, for which ratios of 1.09 and 1.20 were obtained between GATE and FLUKA for the proton beam and the carbon ion beam, respectively. For neutrons and protons, discrepancies from 14% (exiting protons-carbon ion beam) to 57% (exiting neutrons-proton beam) have been identified in production yields as well as in the energy spectra for neutrons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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