Secondary radiation measurements for particle therapy applications: Charged secondaries produced by 16O ion beams in a PMMA target at large angles
Abstract Particle therapy is a therapy technique that exploits protons or light ions to irradiate tumor targets with high accuracy. Protons and 12 C ions are already used for irradiation in clinical routine, while new ions like 4 He and 16 O are currently being considered. Despite the indisputable physical and biological advantages of such ion beams, the planning of charged particle therapy treatments is challenged by range uncertainties, i.e. the uncertainty on the position of the maximal dose release (Bragg Peak – BP), during the treatment. To ensure correct ‘in-treatment’ dose deposition, range monitoring techniques, currently missing in light ion treatment techniques, are eagerly needed. The results presented in this manuscript indicate that charged secondary particles, mainly protons, produced by an 16 O beam during target irradiation can be considered as candidates for 16 O beam range monitoring. Hereafter, we report on the first yield measurements of protons, deuterons and tritons produced in the interaction of an 16 O beam impinging on a PMMA target, as a function of detected energy and particle production position. Charged particles were detected at 90° and 60° with respect to incoming beam direction, and homogeneous and heterogeneous PMMA targets were used to probe the sensitivity of the technique to target inhomogeneities. The reported secondary particle yields provide essential information needed to assess the accuracy and resolution achievable in clinical conditions by range monitoring techniques based on secondary charged radiation.