Dose distributions for X-rays and protons are used in an interactive MATLAB® program (MathWorks, Natick, MA). The MIP is calculated using a published linear quadratic model, which incorporates fractionation effects, cell killing and cancer induction as a function of dose, as well as relative biological effect.
Two virtual situations are modelled: (a) a tumour placed centrally in a cubic volume of normal tissue and (b) the same tumour placed closer to the skin surface.
The MIP is calculated for a variety of treatment field options.
The results show that, for protons, the MIP increases with field numbers.
In such cases, proton MIP can be higher than that for X-rays. Protons produce the lowest MIPs for superficial targets because of the lack of exit dose.
The addition of a dose bath to all normal tissues increases the MIP by up to an order of magnitude.
This exploratory study shows that it is possible to achieve three-dimensional displays of carcinogenesis risk.
The importance of treatment geometry, including the length and volume of tissue traversed by each beam, can all influence MIP. Reducing the volume of tissue irradiated is advantageous, as reducing the number of cells at risk reduces the total MIP. This finding lends further support to the use of treatment gantries as well as the use of simpler field arrangements for particle therapy provided normal tissue tolerances are respected.