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Verification of Range, SOBP Width, and Output for Passive-Scattering Proton Beams Using a Liquid Scintillator Detector

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T Henry*, D Robertson , F Therriault-Proulx , S Beddar , UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


MO-FG-CAMPUS-T-13 (Monday, July 13, 2015) 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Liquid scintillators have been shown to provide fast and high-resolution measurements of radiation beams. However, their linear energy transfer-dependent response (quenching) limits their use in proton beams. The purpose of this study was to develop a simple and fast method to verify the range, spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) width, and output of a passive-scattering proton beam with a liquid scintillator detector, without the need for quenching correction.

Methods: The light signal from a 20x20x20 cm3 liquid scintillator tank was collected with a CCD camera. Reproducible landmarks on the SOBP depth-light curve were identified which possessed a linear relationship with the beam range and SOBP width. The depth-light profiles for three beam energies (140, 160 and 180 MeV) with six SOBP widths at each energy were measured with the detector. Beam range and SOBP width calibration factors were obtained by comparing the depth-light curve landmarks with the nominal range and SOBP width for each beam setting. The daily output stability of the liquid scintillator detector was also studied by making eight repeated output measurements in a cobalt-60 beam over the course of two weeks.

Results: The mean difference between the measured and nominal beam ranges was 0.6 mm (σ=0.2 mm), with a maximum difference of 0.9 mm. The mean difference between the measured and nominal SOBP widths was 0.1 mm (σ=1.8 mm), with a maximum difference of 4.0 mm. Finally an output variation of 0.14% was observed for 8 measurements performed over 2 weeks.

Conclusion: A method has been developed to determine the range and SOBP width of a passive-scattering proton beam in a liquid scintillator without the need for quenching correction. In addition to providing rapid and accurate beam range and SOBP measurements, the detector is capable of measuring the output consistency with a high degree of precision.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This project was supported in part by award number CA182450 from the National Cancer Institute.

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