Analysis of a proton therapy nozzle using Monte Carlo method

Radiotherapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of most oncological diseases, significantly contributing to 40% of cure rates in cancer patients. Given its vital importance, radiotherapy has undergone notable technological advances to enhance effectiveness. This progress is evident in the continuous development of new techniques and technologies within the field. Particularly, proton therapy emerges as an innovative alternative to conventional photon and electron radiotherapy, standing out for its application in the treatment of various types of tumors and diseases.

Proton therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses high-energy protons to irradiate tumor tissues, aiming to destroy malignant cells and pursue disease cure. The advantage of using protons lies in how they interact with matter (Bragg peak), different from photons, and advantageous for certain types of tumors. This technique is particularly interesting in clinical cases where the goal is to maximize the precision of irradiation because the treatment is very close to healthy tissues or organs that need protection. This occurs in brain tumors, specific types of head and neck cancers, ocular cancers, or pediatric cases, avoiding the risk of long-term side effects on developing tissues.

Protons are produced, accelerated, and focused into a beam, so before irradiation of the patient, the beam must have the appropriate energy and geometric shape to achieve the desired treatment outcome. The equipment that generates this beam, therefore, requires a component that fulfills this function, and this is the nozzle.

This work conducts a study of the architecture and operation of the nozzle of a proton therapy device that irradiates a water tank simulating a patient. To construct the geometry of the nozzle, the 3D design program Abaqus is used, and particle simulation is calculated using the Monte Carlo numerical method with the MCNP6.2 code installed on the ISIRYM, Instituto de Seguridad Industrial Radiofísica y Medioambiental , cluster of the UPV. Finally, the results are analyzed with the assistance of the ParaView program and other associated programs.

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