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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 11 (2010), Issue 4, Pages 313-339

Generalized Fokker–Planck Theory for Electron and Photon Transport in Biological Tissues: Application to Radiotherapy

Department of Mathematics, Center for Computational Engineering Science, RWTH Aachen University, Schinkelstrasse 2, D-52062 Aachen, Germany

Received 9 December 2009; Accepted 21 April 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this paper, we study a deterministic method for particle transport in biological tissues. The method is specifically developed for dose calculations in cancer therapy and for radiological imaging. Generalized Fokker–Planck (GFP) theory [Leakeas and Larsen, Nucl. Sci. Eng. 137 (2001), pp. 236–250] has been developed to improve the Fokker-Planck (FP) equation in cases where scattering is forward-peaked and where there is a sufficient amount of large-angle scattering. We compare grid-based numerical solutions to FP and GFP in realistic medical applications. First, electron dose calculations in heterogeneous parts of the human body are performed. Therefore, accurate electron scattering cross sections are included and their incorporation into our model is extensively described. Second, we solve GFP approximations of the radiative transport equation to investigate reflectance and transmittance of light in biological tissues. All results are compared with either Monte Carlo or discrete-ordinates transport solutions.