Monte carlo simulation study on dose enhancement by gold nanoparticles in brachytherapy

Sungkoo Cho, Jong Hwi Jeong, Chan Hyeong Kim, Myonggeun Yoon

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Radiation dose enhancement by injection of a high atomic number (Z) material into tumor volumes has been studied for various radiation sources and different concentrations of gold nanoparticles. Brachytherapy employs low energy photons of less than ∼0.5 MeV, which indeed is the optimal energy range for radiation dose enhancement by introduction of high-Z material. The present study uses the MCNPX™ code to estimate the dose enhancement by gold nanoparticles for the four common brachytherapy sources (137Cs, 192Ir, 125I, and 103Pd). Additionally, cisplatin (H6Cl2N2Pt), a platinum-based chemotherapeutic drug, was used to evaluate the dose enhancement. The simulated source models were evaluated with reference to the calculated TG-43 parameter values. The dose enhancement in the tumor region due to the gold nanoparticles and cisplatin was evaluated according to the dose enhancement factor (DEF). The maximum values of the average DEFs were found to be 1.03, 1.11, 3.43, and 2.17 for the 137Cs, 192Ir, 125I, and 103Pd sources, respectively. The dose enhancement values for the low-energy sources were significantly higher than those for the high-energy sources. The dose enhancement due to cisplatin was calculated by using the same approach and was found to be comparable to that of the gold nanoparticles. The maximum value of the average DEF for cisplatin was 1.12 for the 5% concentration level in water and a 192Ir source. We confirmed that cisplatin could be applied to cancer therapy that combines chemotherapeutic drugs with radiation therapy. The results presented herein will be used to study dose enhancement in tumor regions using various radiation modalities with high atomic number materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1754-1758
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Korean Physical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachytherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Dose enhancement
  • Gold nanoparticle
  • Monte carlo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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