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Power output and efficiency of beta-emitting microspheres

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Radiation Physics and Chemistry
Volume106
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)204-212
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Current standard methods to calculate the dose of radiation emitted during medical applications by beta-minus emitting microspheres rely on an over-simplistic formalism. This formalism is a function of the average activity of the radioisotope used and the physiological dimensions of the patient only. It neglects the variation in energy of the emitted beta particle due to self-attenuation, or self-absorption, effects related to the finite size of the sphere. Here it is assumed the sphere is comprised of a pure radioisotope with beta particles being emitted isotropically throughout the material. The full initial possible kinetic energy distribution of a beta particle is taken into account as well as the energy losses due to scattering by other atoms in the microsphere and bremsstrahlung radiation. By combining Longmire’s theory of the mean forward range of charged particles and the Rayleigh distribution to take into account the statistical nature of scattering and energy straggling, the linear attenuation, or self-absorption, coefficient for beta-emitting radioisotopes has been deduced. By analogy with gamma radiation transport in spheres, this result was used to calculate the rate of energy emitted by a beta-emitting microsphere and its efficiency. Comparisons to standard point dose kernel formulations generated using Monte Carlo data show the efficacy of the proposed method. Yttrium-90 is used as a specific example throughout, as a medically significant radioisotope, frequently used in radiation therapy for treating cancer.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Radiation Physics and Chemistry 106, 2015, © ELSEVIER.