Nievaart, V. A., Moss, R. L., Kloosterman, J. L., van der Hagen, T. H. J. J., van Dam, H., Wittig, A., Malago, M. and Sauerwein, W. Design of a Rotating Facility for Extracorporal Treatment of an Explanted Liver with Disseminated Metastases by Boron Neutron Capture Therapy with an Epithermal Neutron Beam. Radiat. Res. 166, 81–88 (2006).
In 2001, at the TRIGA reactor of the University of Pavia (Italy), a patient suffering from diffuse liver metastases from an adenocarcinoma of the sigmoid was successfully treated by boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). The procedure involved boron infusion prior to hepatectomy, irradiation of the explanted liver at the thermal column of the reactor, and subsequent reimplantation. A complete response was observed. This encouraging outcome stimulated the Essen/Petten BNCT group to investigate whether such an extracorporal irradiation could be performed at the BNCT irradiation facility at the HFR Petten (The Netherlands), which has very different irradiation characteristics than the Pavia facility. A computational study has been carried out. A rotating PMMA container with a liver, surrounded by PMMA and graphite, is simulated using the Monte Carlo code MCNP. Due to the rotation and neutron moderation of the PMMA container, the initial epithermal neutron beam provides a nearly homogeneous thermal neutron field in the liver. The main conditions for treatment as reported from the Pavia experiment, i.e. a thermal neutron fluence of 4 × 1012 ± 20% cm−2, can be closely met at the HFR in an acceptable time, which, depending on the defined conditions, is between 140 and 180 min.