Dose and DNA damage modelling of diffusing alpha-emitters radiation therapy using Geant4

Laura Ballisat, Chiara De Sio, Lana M G Beck, Susanna Guatelli, Dousatsu Sakata, Yuyao Shi, Jinyan Duan, Jaap J Velthuis, Anatoly Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-review


Purpose: Diffusing alpha-emitters radiation therapy (DaRT) is a brachytherapy technique using alpha particles to treat solid tumours. The high linear energy transfer (LET) and short range of alpha particles make them good candidates for the targeted treatment of cancer. Treatment planning of DaRT requires a good understanding of the dose from alpha particles and the other particles released in the 224Ra decay chain.

Methods: The Geant4 Monte Carlo toolkit has been used to simulate a DaRT seed to better understand the dose contribution from all particles and simulate the DNA damage due to this treatment.

Results: Close to the seed alpha particles deliver the majority of dose, however at radial distances greater than 4 mm, the contribution of beta particles is greater. The RBE has been estimated as a function of number of double strand breaks (DSBs) and complex DSBs. A maximum seed spacing of 5.5 mm and 6.5 mm was found to deliver at least 20 Gy RBE weighted dose between the seeds for RBE𝐷𝑆𝐵 and RBE𝑐𝐷𝑆𝐵 respectively.

Conclusions: The DNA damage changes with radial distance from the seed and has been found to become less complex with distance, which is potentially easier for the cell to repair. Close to the seed alpha particles contribute the majority of dose, however the contribution from other particles cannot be neglected and may influence the choice of seed spacing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103367
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica Media
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2024


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