The RBEs of high-energy neutrons given in 9 or 12 fractions for cervical spinal cord injury in rhesus monkeys was determined using photons at 2.2 Gy per fraction as the reference radiation. Because the dose-response functions were not parallel, the RBE was not constant but rather increased with dose or, equivalently, with the probability of myelopathy. This required the development of a novel method of determining the RBE versus level of response. The RBE is presented as a function of probability of myelopathy from 0.1 to 99%. At a 50% incidence of myelopathy, the RBE (±1 SE) was 5.22 ± 0.15. A difference in the histopathology of lesions induced by photon and neutron treatments was observed.

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