Investigating neutron activated contrast agent imaging for tumor localization in proton therapy: A feasibility study for proton neutron gamma-x detection (PNGXD)

Kurt W. Van Delinder, Daniel Crawford, Tiezhi Zhang, Rao Khan, James L. Grafe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proton neutron gamma-x detection (PNGXD) is a novel imaging concept being investigated for tumor localization during proton therapy that uses secondary neutron interactions with a gadolinium contrast agent (GDCA) to produce characteristic photons within the 40-200 keV energy region. The purpose of this study is to experimentally investigate the feasibility of implementing this procedure by performing experimental measurements on a passive double scattering proton treatment unit. Five experimental measurements were performed with varying concentrations and irradiation conditions. Photon spectra were measured with a 25 mm2, 1 mm thick uncollimated X-123 CdTe spectrometer. For a 10.4 Gy administration on a 100 ml volume phantom with 10 mg g-1 Gd solution placed in a water phantom, 1129 184 K-shell Gd counts were detected. For an administered dose of 21 Gy and the same Gd solution measured in air, resulted in 3296 256 counts. A total of 1094 171, 421 150 and 23 141 K-shell Gd counts were measured for Gd concentrations of 10 mg g-1, 1 mg g-1 and 0 mg g-1 for 7 Gy dose in air. The signal to noise ratio for these five measurements were: 7, 15, 6, 3, and 0.2, respectively. The spectrum contained 43 keV Kα and 49 keV Kβ peaks, however a small amount of 79.5 and 181.9 keV prompt gamma rays were detected from gadolinium neutron capture. This discrepancy is due to a drop in the intrinsic detection efficiency of the CdTe spectrometer over this energy range. The measurements were compared with Monte-Carlo simulation to determine the contributions of Gd neutron capture from internal and external neutrons on a passive scattering proton therapy unit and to investigate the discrepancy in detected characteristic x-rays versus prompt gamma rays.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035005
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 24 2020

Keywords

  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • gadolinium neutron capture
  • particle imaging
  • proton neutron gamma detection
  • proton therapy
  • spectroscopy

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