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Project C.3.2

Radiation therapy with laser-driven ion beams

Here we aim to further develop the MAP Biomedical Beamline from its current stage (as achieved in the previous funding period) towards the long-term perspective of laser-driven ion beam therapy. It will provide instrumentation and beamline components that could act as key prototypes for later clinical systems. As soon as laser-driven protons with 25 MeV are becoming available from LION in 2013, the first mouse tumour irradiations in vivo shall be performed. To facilitate high-precision irradiations of various targets in small animals a dedicated image-guided radiation treatment unit will be set up to allow for exact animal positioning. 

The second part of the project focuses on advanced methods for beam transport and energy filtering. The existing systems have to be improved in efficiency and adapted to energies above 40 MeV / u. Then the first mouse tumour irradiations with laser-driven carbon ions can be demonstrated. A further step is the development of lateral and axial dose shaping systems at high energies. For the lateral field definition active magnetic scanning (between laser shots) or passive scattering techniques combined with a motorised multi-leaf collimator shall be investigated.

Axial dose shaping can be achieved by active control of an energy selection system or preferably by spectral shaping methods to deliver a full spread-out Bragg peak within a single laser shot. These methods shall be implemented and tested by irradiating water phantoms at CALA. The timing of these experiments will follow the gradual increase of beam energy available at LION until clinically relevant energies are reached.