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Compact proton therapy for fight against cancer
Date:6/10/2014

and the gantry and Ph.D. student Umar Masood has succeeded at doing just that in his design study. Initially, he went ahead and replaced the conventional ring accelerator with a novel kind of laser accelerator, where the distance along which the particles are accelerated to high energy levels is on the order of millimeters. As part of his design study, and working closely with fellow researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Technische Universitt Dresden (University of Technology), and the University Hospital Dresden together, these parties constitute the OncoRay Center Masood was the first to markedly decrease the size of the individual components that lie beyond the accelerator.

"We will have to redevelop all of the various components from scratch over the next few years," says Masood. This is because laser-based particle beams exhibit properties that are distinct from those produced by ring accelerators. They exhibit a far greater energy distribution. At first glance, this seems to be a clear disadvantage. Established radiotherapy methodology is based on the premise that a tumor is scanned piecemeal using a pencil-shaped beam with a narrow energy window, starting with a higher energy, which is subsequently gradually lowered. As such, the proton beam is able to target every single place within the tumor's total mass. Since it gives off the vast majority of its energy only at the end of the distance traveled, the healthy tissue that lies beyond the tumor is spared.

Greater tumor volume targeted in a shorter amount of time

Given the wide energy window during radiation using laser-accelerated protons, a large portion of protons has to be eliminated from the beam to reach a comparatively narrower energy window. This compromises efficiency. However, Umar Masood has come up with an innovative solution to this dilemma: Not only does he use the wider energy distribution but also the proton beam's naturally larger d
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Contact: Christine Bohnet
c.bohnet@hzdr.de
49-351-260-2450
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Source:Eurekalert  

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Compact proton therapy for fight against cancer
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