Current Status of Accelerator-Based Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
A. J. Kreiner 1*, R. J. Bergueiro 1,2, D. Cartelli 1,2, W. Castell 1, H. Di Paolo 1,2, V. Thatar Vento 1,2, J. Suarez Sandin 1, M. Baldo 1, J. Erhardt 1, J. Kesque 1, A. A. Valda 1,2, M. E. Debray 1,2, J. Padulo 2, H. R. Somacal 2, M. Igarzabal 1, H. Huck 1,2, F. Lopez 1, D. M. Minsky 1,2, M. Herrera 1,2, E. Capoulat 1,2, S. J. Gonzalez 1,2
1 National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina
2 Escuela de Ciencia y Tecnologia, National University of San Martin & CONICET
The direct use of proton and heavy ion beams for radiotherapy is a well established cancer treatment modality, which is becoming increasingly widespread due to its clear advantages over conventional photon-based treatments. This strategy is suitable when the tumor is spatially well localized. Also the use of neutrons has a long tradition. Here Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) stands out, though on a much smaller scale, being a second-generation promising alternative for tumors which are diffuse and infiltrating. On this sector, so far only nuclear reactors have been used as neutron sources. In this presentation we describe the current situation worldwide as far as the use of accelerator-based neutron sources for BNCT is concerned (so-called Accelerator-Based (AB)-BNCT). In particular we discuss the present status of an ongoing project to develop a folded Tandem-ElectroStatic-Quadrupole (TESQ) accelerator at the Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina. The project goal is a machine capable of delivering 30 mA of 2.4 MeV protons to be used in conjunction with a neutron production target based on the 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction. These are the specifications needed to produce sufficiently intense and clean epithermal neutron beams to perform BNCT for deep-seated tumors in less than an hour.