Goorley, T. and Nikjoo, H. Electron and Photon Spectra for Three Gadolinium-Based Cancer Therapy Approaches.

Some recent neutron capture therapy research has focused on using compounds containing the element gadolinium, which produces internal conversion and Auger cascade electrons. The low-energy, short-range Auger electrons are absorbed locally and increase cell killing dramatically as the gadolinium compounds are introduced into the cell nucleus and bind to the DNA. Detailed electron and photon spectra are needed for biophysical modeling and Monte Carlo calculations of damage to DNA. This paper presents calculated electron and photon spectra for three cases: thermal neutron absorption by 157Gd, the β-particle decay of 159Gd, and the K-shell photoelectric event in gadolinium. The Monte Carlo sampling of atomic and nuclear transitions for each of the three cases was used to calculate a large number of representative decays. The sampled decays were used to determine average emissions and energy deposited in small spheres of tissue. The kinetic energy nuclear recoil from γ-ray and electron emissions was calculated and found to be more than 10 eV for 26% of all 157Gd neutron capture reactions.

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