Real-time monitoring of the Bragg-peak position in ion therapy by means of single photon detection
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For real-time monitoring of the longitudinal position of the Bragg-peak during an ion therapy treatment, a novel non-invasive technique has been recently proposed that exploits the detection of prompt γ-rays issued from nuclear fragmentation. Two series of experiments have been performed at the GANIL and GSI facilities with 95 and 305 MeV/u 12C6+ ion beams stopped in PMMA and water phantoms. In both experiments, a clear correlation was obtained between the carbon ion range and the prompt photon profile. Additionally, an extensive study has been performed to investigate whether a prompt neutron component may be correlated with the carbon ion range. No such correlation was found. The present paper demonstrates that a collimated set-up can be used to detect single photons by means of time-of-flight measurements, at those high energies typical for ion therapy. Moreover, the applicability of the technique both at cyclotron and at synchrotron facilities is shown. It is concluded that the detected photon count rates provide sufficiently high statistics to allow real-time control of the longitudinal position of the Bragg-peak under clinical conditions.
KeywordsBaF2 Prompt Photon Geant4 Simulation Pulse Shape Discrimination Lead Collimator
Part of this work was funded by the Rhône-Alpes regional research program for ion therapy ETOILE.
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