Current development status of accelerator-based neutron source for boron neutron capture therapy
Institute of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1, Tennodai, Ibaraki, Tsukuba, Japan
Accepted: 26 September 2023
Published online: 5 October 2023
Recently, progress in technology for accelerator-based neutron sources has increased attention regarding boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). BNCT is a type of radiotherapy that combines neutrons and boron drugs and is expected to be used in the treatment of refractory and recurrent cancers. Owing to the need for high-intensity neutrons in treatment, compact accelerator-based neutron sources applicable to BNCT are being developed worldwide. These current projects utilize cyclotrons, linear accelerators, and electrostatic accelerators as accelerators for BNCT devices. Beryllium and lithium are the main target materials for neutron generation. The accelerators for BNCT device are required to accelerate charged particles with an average current ranging from a few milliamperes to a few tens of milliamperes in order to generate neutrons of sufficient intensity for the treatment. Moreover, the target systems require technologies and mechanisms that can withstand the large heat load produced by high-power beam irradiation and prevent blistering. This review outlines and explains the accelerator neutron sources for BNCT and the requirements for the components of each device, such as the accelerator, target material, and beam shaping assembly. In addition, various development projects for accelerator-based BNCT devices worldwide are introduced.
Key words: Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) / Accelerator-based neutron source / Target / Beam shaping assembly
© The Author(s) 2023
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