2021: Influence of a variable RBW in proton beams
Hendrik Brehmer authored his master thesis at the Technical University of Dresden. In his thesis, titled "Analysis of LET and RBW in risk organs of proton therapy for brain tumours", he investigated the potential effects of dose exposure on various organs at risk under the assumption of a variable instead of a constant relative biological effectiveness (RBW). The basis of this was the consideration that the linear energy transfer (LET) of protons, which is known to increase at the distal edge of the proton beam, could lead to the surrounding organs at risk being exposed to a larger biological dose than was previously assumed. In order to quantify this, he retrospectively simulated the treatment plans of 78 brain tumour patients using a Monte Carlo algorithm and quantified LET and RBW. Based on this, he estimated the effects on side-effect probabilities (NTCP) using various models. With the assumption of an increased RBW dose, a significantly higher NTCP can be predicted for some organs, in particular for the pituitary gland. Brehmer’s work highlights the limitations of the models currently used and provides a basis for optimizing clinical planning and future research with regard to establishing a variable RBW.
Hendrik Brehmer, MSc., studied physics at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena and attained his Master’s degree in 2020 in the subject of “Medical Radiation Sciences” at the Technical University of Dresden. Since December 2020 he has been working as a medical physicist in Nuclear Medicine at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin.