Beam energy considerations for gold nano-particle enhanced radiation treatment.
Van den Heuvel F., Locquet J-P., Nuyts S.
A novel approach using nano-technology enhanced radiation modalities is investigated. The proposed methodology uses antibodies labeled with organically inert metals with a high atomic number. Irradiation using photons with energies in the kilo-electron volt (keV) range shows an increase in dose due to a combination of an increase in photo-electric interactions and a pronounced generation of Auger and/or Coster-Krönig (A-CK) electrons. The dependence of the dose deposition on various factors is investigated using Monte Carlo simulation models. The factors investigated include agent concentration, spectral dependence looking at mono-energetic sources as well as classical bremsstrahlung sources. The optimization of the energy spectrum is performed in terms of physical dose enhancement as well as the dose deposited by Auger and/or Coster-Krönig electrons and their biological effectiveness. A quasi-linear dependence on concentration and an exponential decrease within the target medium is observed. The maximal dose enhancement is dependent on the position of the target in the beam. Apart from irradiation with low-photon energies (10-20 keV) there is no added benefit from the increase in generation of Auger electrons. Interestingly, a regular 110 kVp bremsstrahlung spectrum shows a comparable enhancement in comparison with the optimized mono-energetic sources. In conclusion we find that the use of enhanced nano-particles shows promise to be implemented quite easily in regular clinics on a physical level due to the advantageous properties in classical beams.