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

iameter, which thus emits its dose within a larger volume. This translates to a larger number of cancer cells that are simultaneously irradiated within the same unit of time. Technische Universitt Mnchen is currently in the process of developing a special kind of software to help with calculating dose deposition in the patient during planning of the treatment optimized for laser-accelerated proton beams.

Another property of laser-accelerated protons lies with the fact that we are not looking at a continuous particle beam here but instead at individual particle pulses. In the case of pulsed beams, more powerful magnets can be used to guide the beam from accelerator to patient an important prerequisite for decreasing the beamline's and, more importantly, the massive gantry's overall size. Dresden is banking on pulsed magnets since the HZDR's Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory has extensive experience with these.

Staying on track using pulsed magnets

Umar Masood had to run tests on a number of different incarnations of his idea in order to be able to come up with a concept for guiding laser-accelerated proton beams in the first place. First, a magnetic coil fashions a beam from protons that were accelerated directly inside the gantry using intense laser light. Thereafter, a dipole magnet directs the beam around a 90-degree curve while ensuring that protons with an unsuitable energy window are cut off. A group of focusing magnets called quadrupoles, which are also only switched on for about 100 milliseconds at a time, keep the beam on track. Transport of a pulsed beam with a wide energy distribution can be tricky as there are at least six dimensions to be taken care of. A second dipole magnet redirects the beam in a direction opposite to the original acceleration towards the patient table located at the center of the gantry.

In spite of the fact that now, for the first time ever, an entire facility was modeled on the basis of
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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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