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An Improved Method for Event Selection in Compton Camera Imaging for Particle Therapy

D Mackin

D Mackin1*, S Beddar1 , J Polf2 , S Peterson3 , E Draeger2 , (1) UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, (3) University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town


SU-F-J-200 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

The uncertainty in the beam range in particle therapy limits the conformality of the dose distributions. Compton scatter cameras (CC), which measure the prompt gamma rays produced by nuclear interactions in the patient tissue, can reduce this uncertainty by producing 3D images confirming the particle beam range and dose delivery. However, the high intensity and short time windows of the particle beams limit the number of gammas detected. We attempt to address this problem by developing a method for filtering gamma ray scattering events from the background by applying the known gamma ray spectrum.

Methods: We used a 4 stage Compton camera to record in list mode the energy deposition and scatter positions of gammas from a Co-60 source. Each CC stage contained a 4x4 array of CdZnTe crystal. To produce images we used a back-projection algorithm and four filtering methods: basic, energy windowing, delta energy (ΔE), or delta scattering angle (Δθ). Basic filtering requires events to be physically consistent. Energy windowing requires event energy to fall within a defined range. ΔE filtering selects events with the minimum difference between the measured and a known gamma energy (1.17 and 1.33 MeV for Co-60). Δθ filtering selects events with the minimum difference between the measured scattering angle and the angle corresponding to a known gamma energy.

Results: Energy window filtering reduced the FWHM from 197.8 mm for basic filtering to 78.3 mm. ΔE and Δθ filtering achieved the best results, FWHMs of 64.3 and 55.6 mm, respectively. In general, Δθ filtering selected events with scattering angles < 40°, while ΔE filtering selected events with angles > 60°.

Conclusion: Filtering CC events improved the quality and resolution of the corresponding images. ΔE and Δθ filtering produced similar results but each favored different events.

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