Sensitivity analysis of Monte Carlo model of a gantry-mounted passively scattered proton system

Milad Baradaran-Ghahfarokhi, Francisco Reynoso, Michael T. Prusator, Baozhou Sun, Tianyu Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aimed to present guidance on the correlation between treatment nozzle and proton source parameters, and dose distribution of a passive double scattering compact proton therapy unit, known as Mevion S250. Methods: All 24 beam options were modeled using the MCNPX MC code. The calculated physical dose for pristine peak, profiles, and spread out Bragg peak (SOBP) were benchmarked with the measured data. Track-averaged LET (LETt) and dose-averaged LET (LETd) distributions were also calculated. For the sensitivity investigations, proton beam line parameters including Average Energy (AE), Energy Spread (ES), Spot Size (SS), Beam Angle (BA), Beam Offset (OA), and Second scatter Offset (SO) from central Axis, and also First Scatter (FS) thickness were simulated in different stages to obtain the uncertainty of the derived results on the physical dose and LET distribution in a water phantom. Results: For the physical dose distribution, the MCNPX MC model matched measurements data for all the options to within 2 mm and 2% criterion. The Mevion S250 was found to have a LETt between 0.46 and 8.76 keV.μm–1 and a corresponding LETd between 0.84 and 15.91 keV.μm–1. For all the options, the AE and ES had the greatest effect on the resulting depth of pristine peak and peak-to-plateau ratio respectively. BA, OA, and SO significantly decreased the flatness and symmetry of the profiles. The LETs were found to be sensitive to the AE, ES, and SS, especially in the peak region. Conclusions: This study revealed the importance of considering detailed beam parameters, and identifying those that resulted in large effects on the physical dose distribution and LETs for a compact proton therapy machine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • MCNP
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • passively scattered proton
  • sensitivity analysis


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