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Recent progress in Monte Carlo simulation on gold nanoparticle radiosensitization

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
2 Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada

Special Issues: New horizons for computer simulation in biology

Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are proven effective heavy-atom radiosensitizers to produce imaging contrast and dose enhancement in radiotherapy. To understand the physical and biological effect of adding GNPs to the tumour cells, Monte Carlo simulation based on particle tracking and transport, is employed to predict the dosimetry in the cellular and DNA scale. In this review, we first explore the recent advances in Monte Carlo simulation on GNP radiosensitisation. The development of particle tracking algorithm for very low energy electron in the simulation is discussed, followed by some results regarding the prediction of dose enhancement (microscopic and macroscopic). We then review different Monte Carlo cell models with GNPs in the simulation, the biological effect resulting from DNA damage, and the effects of increasing imaging contrast in the tumour cell due to photoelectric enhancement. Moreover, we explain and look at different studies and results on GNP-enhanced radiotherapy using gamma rays (brachytherapy), megavoltage photon, kilovoltage photon, electron and proton beams.
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