The FLUKA Monte Carlo code coupled with the NIRS approach for clinical dose calculations in carbon ion therapy

G. Magro, T. J. Dahle, S. Molinelli, M. Ciocca, P. Fossati, A. Ferrari, T. Inaniwa, N. Matsufuji, K. S. Ytre-Hauge, A. Mairani

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

33 Citations (Scopus)


Particle therapy facilities often require Monte Carlo (MC) simulations to overcome intrinsic limitations of analytical treatment planning systems (TPS) related to the description of the mixed radiation field and beam interaction with tissue inhomogeneities. Some of these uncertainties may affect the computation of effective dose distributions; therefore, particle therapy dedicated MC codes should provide both absorbed and biological doses. Two biophysical models are currently applied clinically in particle therapy: the local effect model (LEM) and the microdosimetric kinetic model (MKM). In this paper, we describe the coupling of the NIRS (National Institute for Radiological Sciences, Japan) clinical dose to the FLUKA MC code. We moved from the implementation of the model itself to its application in clinical cases, according to the NIRS approach, where a scaling factor is introduced to rescale the (carbon-equivalent) biological dose to a clinical dose level. A high level of agreement was found with published data by exploring a range of values for the MKM input parameters, while some differences were registered in forward recalculations of NIRS patient plans, mainly attributable to differences with the analytical TPS dose engine (taken as reference) in describing the mixed radiation field (lateral spread and fragmentation). We presented a tool which is being used at the Italian National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy to support the comparison study between the NIRS clinical dose level and the LEM dose specification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3814-3827
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 07 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon ion therapy
  • MKM, Monte Carlo
  • treatment planning
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Humans
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy/methods
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Carbon Radioisotopes/therapeutic use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging


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