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Feasibility and Limitations of Laser-Driven Proton Therapy: A Treatment Planning Study

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K Hofmann

K Hofmann1*, U Masood2, J Pawelke2, 3, J Wilkens1 (1) Department of Radiation Oncology, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Germany (2) OncoRay, National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Dresden, Germany (3) Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Germany


SU-D-BRE-5 Sunday 2:05PM - 3:00PM Room: Ballroom E

Purpose: Laser-acceleration of particles may offer a cost- and space-efficient alternative for future radiation therapy with particles. Laser-driven particle beams are pulsed with very short bunch times, and a high number of particles is delivered within one laser shot which cannot be portioned or modulated during irradiation. The goal of this study was to examine whether good treatment plans can be produced for laser-driven proton beams and to investigate the feasibility of a laser-driven treatment unit.

Methods: An exponentially decaying proton spectrum was tracked through a gantry and energy selection beam line design to produce multiple proton spectra with different energy widths centered on various nominal energies. These spectra were fed into a treatment planning system to calculate spot scanning proton plans using different lateral widths of the beam and different numbers of protons contained in the initial spectrum. The clinical feasibility of the resulting plans was analyzed in terms of dosimetric quality and the required number of laser shots as an estimation of the overall treatment time.

Results: We were able to produce treatment plans with plan qualities of clinical relevance for a maximum initial proton number per laser shot of 6*10⁸. However, the associated minimum number of laser shots was in the order of 10⁴, indicating a long delivery time in the order of at least 15 minutes, when assuming an optimistic repetition rate of the laser system of 10 Hz.

Conclusion: With the simulated beam line and the assumed shape of the proton spectrum it was impossible to produce clinically acceptable treatment plans that can be delivered in a reasonable time. The situation can be improved by a method or a device in the beam line which can modulate the number of protons from shot to shot.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Supported by DFG Cluster of Excellence: Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics.

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