A Nuclear Engineer’s Introduction to Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is a unique radiation therapy modality that combines an intense neutron radiation source with a biologically targeted pharmaceutical that is labeled with the boron-10 isotope. The thermal neutron absorption by boron-10 results in two energetic, heavy charged particles that deposit nearly 3 MeV within a radius of 10 microns or less, providing effective cell killing to targeted tumor cells. TAE Life Sciences has designed the Alphabeam system, a turnkey solution for BNCT in a hospital environment that includes a compact neutron source, robotic treatment couch, treatment planning software, control systems and boron pharmaceuticals. This presentation will highlight many aspects of BNCT that require nuclear engineering expertise, including: the high LET and RBE benefits of the neutron absorption by boron-10; the mechanism for producing neutrons from proton reactions in a lithium target; the distinctive neutron energy spectrum ideal for BNCT; and the unique shielding challenges encountered in BNCT.
Bio: Dr. Lee received Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees with a Nuclear Engineering emphasis from the University of Florida. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree, also with a Nuclear Engineering emphasis, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following post-doctoral appointments at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Maryland, he started his career in therapeutic medical physics. He is an expert and former trainer for the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery and radiotherapy system, having supported institutions including Georgetown University, Erasmus Medical Center (Rotterdam), University of California San Francisco and Fox Chase Cancer Center. His roles in medical physics have included staff and lead hospital physicist, owner of a medical physics consulting company, senior director of global medical physics for Accuray Inc. and director of clinical development for TAE Life Sciences. His research interests include accelerator-based boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), stereotactic radiotherapy and development of quality assurance tests for BNCT.