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Proton Beam Range Verification with a Single Prompt Gamma-Ray Detector

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J Verburg

J Verburg*, M Testa, E Cascio, T Bortfeld, H Lu, J Seco, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


WE-D-BRF-3 Wednesday 11:00AM - 12:15PM Room: Ballroom F

Purpose: To present an experimental study of a novel range verification method for scanned and scattered proton beams.

Methods: A detection system consisting of an actively shielded lanthanum(III)bromide scintillator and a one-sided lead collimator was used to measure prompt gamma-rays emitted during the delivery of proton beams to a water phantom and an anthropomorphic head phantom. The residual proton range at the collimator position was determined by comparing gamma-ray intensities while the proton energy was modulated to the distal end of the target. We used a clinical field to deliver a 50 cGy dose to a 12 cm diameter target in the water phantom and to a 175 cc tumor-shaped target in the head phantom. The detector signals were acquired with a custom data acquisition system enabling energy and time-of-flight discrimination of prompt gamma-rays.

Results: Range deviations were detected with a statistical accuracy of ± 0.2 mm and ± 1.4 mm at 90% confidence level, respectively for the water and head phantom. We obtained a time resolution of 1 ns FWHM and an energy resolution < 2% FWHM for the main gamma lines from proton-induced nuclear reactions with carbon and oxygen. This allowed for an accurate separation of the prompt gamma-rays from neutron-induced background.

Conclusion: Proton range deviations can be detected with millimeter accuracy using a single prompt gamma-ray measurement point acquired during the delivery of a few proton energy layers to the distal part of the target. The method is also feasible in the presence of background radiation from passively scattered proton beam delivery.

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