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Advantages of MCNPX-Based Lattice Tally over Mesh Tally in High-Speed Monte Carlo Dose Reconstruction for Proton Radiotherapy

Rui Zhang, Jonas D. Fontenot, Dragan Mirkovic, John S. Hendricks, Wayne D. Newhauser

Nuclear Technology / Volume 183 / Number 1 / July 2013 / Pages 101-106

Technical Paper / Radiation Transport and Protection /

Monte Carlo simulations are increasingly used to reconstruct dose distributions in radiotherapy research studies. Many studies have used the MCNPX Monte Carlo code with a mesh tally for dose reconstructions. However, when the number of voxels in the simulated patient anatomy is large, the computation time for a mesh tally can become prohibitively long. The purpose of this work was to test the feasibility of using lattice tally instead of mesh tally for whole-body dose reconstructions. We did this by comparing the dosimetric accuracy and computation time of lattice tallies with those of mesh tallies for craniospinal proton irradiation. The two tally methods generated nearly identical dosimetric results, within 1% in dose and within 1 mm distance-to-agreement for 99% of the voxels. For a typical craniospinal proton treatment field, simulation speed was 4 to 17 times faster using the lattice tally than using the mesh tally, depending on the numbers of proton histories and voxels. We conclude that the lattice tally is an acceptable substitute for the mesh tally in dose reconstruction, making it a suitable potential candidate for clinical treatment planning.

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