25 May 2011 A technology platform for translational research on laser driven particle accelerators for radiotherapy
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Abstract
It is widely accepted that proton or light ion beams may have a high potential for improving cancer cure by means of radiation therapy. However, at present the large dimensions of electromagnetic accelerators prevent particle therapy from being clinically introduced on a broad scale. Therefore, several technological approaches among them laser driven particle acceleration are under investigation. Parallel to the development of suitable high intensity lasers, research is necessary to transfer laser accelerated particle beams to radiotherapy, since the relevant parameters of laser driven particle beams dramatically differ from those of beams delivered by conventional accelerators: The duty cycle is low, whereas the number of particles and thus the dose rate per pulse are high. Laser accelerated particle beams show a broad energy spectrum and substantial intensity fluctuations from pulse to pulse. These properties may influence the biological efficiency and they require completely new techniques of beam delivery and quality assurance. For this translational research a new facility is currently constructed on the campus of the university hospital Dresden. It will be connected to the department of radiooncology and host a petawatt laser system delivering an experimental proton beam and a conventional therapeutic proton cyclotron. The cyclotron beam will be delivered on the one hand to an isocentric gantry for patient treatments and on the other hand to an experimental irradiation site. This way the conventional accelerator will deliver a reference beam for all steps of developing the laser based technology towards clinical applicability.
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W. Enghardt, M. Bussmann, T. Cowan, F. Fiedler, M. Kaluza, J. Pawelke, U. Schramm, R. Sauerbrey, A. Tünnermann, M. Baumann, "A technology platform for translational research on laser driven particle accelerators for radiotherapy", Proc. SPIE 8079, Laser Acceleration of Electrons, Protons, and Ions; and Medical Applications of Laser-Generated Secondary Sources of Radiation and Particles, 80791F (25 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886861; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.886861
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