Radiation protection dosimetry 2017 12 05() 1-8 doi 10.1093/rpd/ncx269
The use of 60Co teletherapy unit for the treatment of unilateral retinoblastoma (Rb) patients is a very common procedure in many developing countries including Tanzania. The aim of this study was to estimate organ-specific absorbed doses from an external beam radiation therapy 60Co unit for unilateral Rb and to assess the risks of the patients developing a secondary primary cancer. The absorbed dose estimations were based on a Monte Carlo method and a set of age-dependent computational male phantoms. The estimated doses were used to calculate the secondary cancer risks in out-of-field organs using the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation VII risk models. The survival information and baseline cancer risks were based on relevant statistics for the Tanzanian population. The resulting out-of-field organ doses data showed that organs which are close to the target volume, such as the brain, salivary glands and thyroid glands, received the highest absorbed dose from scattered photons during the treatment of Rb. It was also found that the resulting photons dose to specific organs depends on the patient’s age. Younger patients are more sensitive to radiation and also received higher dose contributions from the treatment head due to a larger part of the body exposed to the photon radiation. In all sites considered, the overall risks associated with radiation-induced secondary cancer were relatively lower than the baseline risks. Thus, the results in this article can help to provide good estimations of radiation-induced secondary cancer after radiation treatment of unilateral Rb using 60Co teletherapy unit in Tanzania and other developing countries.