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Title: Energy optimization procedure for treatment planning with laser-accelerated protons

Abstract

A simple analytical model is found that predicts the exact proton spectrum needed to obtain a spread-out-Bragg peak (SOBP) distribution for laser-accelerated proton beams. The theory is based on the solution to the Boltzmann kinetic equation for the proton distribution function. The resulting analytical expression allows one to calculate the SOBP proton energy spectra for the different beamlet sizes and modulation depths that can be readily implemented in the calculation of energy and intensity modulated proton dose distributions. Since the practical implementation of energy modulation for proton beams is realized through the discrete superposition of individual Bragg peaks, it is shown that there exists an optimal relationship between the energy sampling size and the width of the initial proton energy distribution.

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20951050
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 34; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1118/1.2431424; (c) 2007 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; BOLTZMANN EQUATION; BRAGG CURVE; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; DOSIMETRY; DRUGS; ENERGY SPECTRA; LASERS; MODULATION; OPTIMIZATION; PLANNING; PROTON BEAMS; PROTON SPECTRA; RADIATION DOSE DISTRIBUTIONS; RADIOTHERAPY

Citation Formats

Fourkal, E., Velchev, I., Fan, J., Luo, W., and Ma, C.-M. Energy optimization procedure for treatment planning with laser-accelerated protons. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1118/1.2431424.
Fourkal, E., Velchev, I., Fan, J., Luo, W., & Ma, C.-M. Energy optimization procedure for treatment planning with laser-accelerated protons. United States. doi:10.1118/1.2431424.
Fourkal, E., Velchev, I., Fan, J., Luo, W., and Ma, C.-M. Thu . "Energy optimization procedure for treatment planning with laser-accelerated protons". United States. doi:10.1118/1.2431424.
@article{osti_20951050,
title = {Energy optimization procedure for treatment planning with laser-accelerated protons},
author = {Fourkal, E. and Velchev, I. and Fan, J. and Luo, W. and Ma, C.-M.},
abstractNote = {A simple analytical model is found that predicts the exact proton spectrum needed to obtain a spread-out-Bragg peak (SOBP) distribution for laser-accelerated proton beams. The theory is based on the solution to the Boltzmann kinetic equation for the proton distribution function. The resulting analytical expression allows one to calculate the SOBP proton energy spectra for the different beamlet sizes and modulation depths that can be readily implemented in the calculation of energy and intensity modulated proton dose distributions. Since the practical implementation of energy modulation for proton beams is realized through the discrete superposition of individual Bragg peaks, it is shown that there exists an optimal relationship between the energy sampling size and the width of the initial proton energy distribution.},
doi = {10.1118/1.2431424},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 2,
volume = 34,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 15 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 15 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • Purpose: Laser plasma acceleration can potentially replace large and expensive cyclotrons or synchrotrons for radiotherapy with protons and ions. On the way toward a clinical implementation, various challenges such as the maximum obtainable energy still remain to be solved. In any case, laser accelerated particles exhibit differences compared to particles from conventional accelerators. They typically have a wide energy spread and the beam is extremely pulsed (i.e., quantized) due to the pulsed nature of the employed lasers. The energy spread leads to depth dose curves that do not show a pristine Bragg peak but a wide high dose area, makingmore » precise radiotherapy impossible without an additional energy selection system. Problems with the beam quantization include the limited repetition rate and the number of accelerated particles per laser shot. This number might be too low, which requires a high repetition rate, or it might be too high, which requires an additional fluence selection system to reduce the number of particles. Trying to use laser accelerated particles in a conventional way such as spot scanning leads to long treatment times and a high amount of secondary radiation produced when blocking unwanted particles. Methods: The authors present methods of beam delivery and treatment planning that are specifically adapted to laser accelerated particles. In general, it is not necessary to fully utilize the energy selection system to create monoenergetic beams for the whole treatment plan. Instead, within wide parts of the target volume, beams with broader energy spectra can be used to simultaneously cover multiple axially adjacent spots of a conventional dose delivery grid as applied in intensity modulated particle therapy. If one laser shot produces too many particles, they can be distributed over a wider area with the help of a scattering foil and a multileaf collimator to cover multiple lateral spot positions at the same time. These methods are called axial and lateral clustering and reduce the number of particles that have to be blocked in the beam delivery system. Furthermore, the optimization routine can be adjusted to reduce the number of dose spots and laser shots. The authors implemented these methods into a research treatment planning system for laser accelerated particles. Results: The authors' proposed methods can decrease the amount of secondary radiation produced when blocking particles with wrong energies or when reducing the total number of particles from one laser shot. Additionally, caused by the efficient use of the beam, the treatment time is reduced considerably. Both improvements can be achieved without extensively changing the quality of the treatment plan since conventional intensity modulated particle therapy usually includes a certain amount of unused degrees of freedom which can be used to adapt to laser specific properties. Conclusions: The advanced beam delivery and treatment planning methods reduce the need to have a perfect laser-based accelerator reproducing the properties of conventional accelerators that might not be possible without increasing treatment time and secondary radiation to the patient. The authors show how some of the differences to conventional beams can be overcome and efficiently used for radiation treatment.« less
  • The spatial distribution of protons, accelerated by intense femtosecond laser pulses interacting with thin target foils under oblique irradiation are investigated. Under certain conditions, the proton beams are directed away from the target normal. This deviation is towards the laser forward direction, with an angle that increases with the level and duration of the amplified spontaneous emission pedestal before the main laser pulse. In addition, for a given laser pulse, this beam deviation increases with proton energy. The observations are discussed in terms of different electron acceleration mechanisms and target normal sheath acceleration, in combination with a laser-controllable shock wavemore » locally deforming the target rear surface.« less
  • Optimal regimes of proton acceleration in the interaction of short high-power laser pulses with thin foils and low-density targets are determined by means of 3D numerical simulation. It is demonstrated that the maximum proton energy can be increased by using low-density targets in which ions from the front surface of the target are accelerated most efficiently. It is shown using a particular example that, for the same laser pulse, the energy of protons accelerated from a low-density target can be increased by one-third as compared to a solid-state target.
  • Purpose: Develop and benchmark an inverse treatment planning system (TPS) for proton radiotherapy integrating fast analytical dose and LET calculations in patient geometries and a dual objective function with both dose and LET components, enabling us to apply optimization techniques to improve the predicted outcome of treatments based on radiobiological models. Methods: The software package was developed in MATLAB and implements a fluence-dose calculation technique based on a pencil beam model for dose calculations and a 3D LET model based on the extension of the LET in the radial direction as a function of the predicted radiological pathway. Both modelsmore » were benchmarked against commissioning data from our institution, dose calculations performed with a commercial treatment planning system and Monte Carlo simulations. The optimization is based on the adaptive simulated annealing approach . Results: The dose and LET calculations were tested in a water phantom and several real patient treatments. The pass rate for the gamma index analysis (3%/3mm) test was above 90% for all test cases analyzed, and the calculation time was of the order of seconds. The inverse planning module produced plans with a significantly higher mean LET in the target compared to traditional plans, without any loss of target coverage. The clinical relevance of this improvement is under consideration . Conclusion: The developed treatment planning system is a valuable clinical and research tool that enables us to incorporate LET effects into proton radiotherapy planning in a streamlined fashion.« less