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Prompt Gamma Emission Measurements From a Passively Scattered Proton Beam On Targets Containing 16O, 12C and 14N

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S Peterson

J Jeyasugiththan1 2 , S Peterson1*, (1) Department of Physics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa (2) Department of Clinical Oncology, Teaching Hospital, Jeffna, Sri Lanka,


SU-E-J-142 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose:To measure the prompt gamma emission from the important elements found in tissue (¹⁶O, ¹²C and ¹⁴N) in a clinical passive-scatter treatment environment.

Methods:The targets (composed of water, Perspex, graphite and liquid nitrogen) were irradiated with a 200 MeV passive-scatter proton beam and the discrete prompt gamma energy spectra was detected by a high resolution 2" x 2" LaBr₃ detector. In order to reduce the high level of radiation produced by the beam line elements, the detector was surrounded by 10 cm of lead to attenuate the scattered gamma-rays entering the detector with an extra 5 cm thick layer of lead added along the beam direction. A 10 cm thick collimator with a 5 cm x 10 cm rectangular opening was also used.

Results:The prompt gamma peaks at 6.13 MeV and 4.44 MeV were clearly identified as a result of the inelastic nuclear reaction between the protons and the 16O atoms found in the water target. The 6.13 MeV peak was 5% higher than the peak at 4.44 MeV for the water target. The 4.44 MeV peak was the only identified emission in the prompt gamma energy spectra from the graphite target (¹²C). The expected 2.313 MeV peak form the ¹⁴N (liquid nitrogen target) was identified, but the other expected ¹⁴N peaks could not be resolved.

Conclusion:Prompt gamma measurements with a passive-scatter proton beam are possible, but the presence of a high amount of background radiation from the patient final collimator presents a challenge at the treatment isocenter. The prominent prompt gamma peaks at 6.13 MeV and 4.44 MeV were identified from the water, Perspex and graphite targets. The prompt gammas from the liquid nitrogen target were difficult to see, but may not be significant in the in-vivo verification process.

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