Gold nanoparticle (GNP) boosted radiation therapy can enhance the biological effectiveness of radiation treatments by increasing the quantity of direct and indirect radiation-induced cellular damage. As the physical effects of GNP boosted radiotherapy occur across energy scales that descend down to 10 eV, Monte Carlo simulations require discrete physics models down to these very low energies in order to avoid underestimating the absorbed dose and secondary particle generation. Discrete physics models for electron transportation down to 10 eV have been implemented within the Geant4-DNA low energy extension of Geant4. Such models allow the investigation of GNP effects at the nanoscale. At low energies, the new models have better agreement with experimental data on the backscattering coefficient, and they show similar performance for transmission coefficient data as the Livermore and Penelope models already implemented in Geant4. These new models are applicable in simulations focussed towards estimating the relative biological effectiveness of radiation in GNP boosted radiotherapy applications with photon and electron radiation sources.
Available for download on Friday, December 01, 2017