LhARA : the laser-hybrid accelerator for radiobiological applications

Aymar, Galen and Becker, Tobias and Boogert, Stewart and Borghesi, Marco and Bingham, Robert and Brenner, Ceri and Burrows, Philip N. and Ettlinger, Oliver C. and Dascalu, Titus-Stefan and Gibson, Stephen and Greenshaw, Timothy and Gruber, Sylvia and Gujral, Dorothy and Hardiman, Claire and Hughes, Jonathan and Jones, W. G. and Kirkby, Karen and Kurup, Ajit and Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste and Long, Kenneth R. and Luk, Wayne and Matheson, John and McKenna, P. and Mclauchlan, Ruth and Najmudin, Zulfikar and Lau, Hin T. and Parsons, Jason L. and Pasternak, Jaroslaw and Pozimski, Juergen and Prise, Kevin and Puchalska, Monika and Ratoff, Peter and Schettino, Giuseppe and Shields, William and Smith, Susan and Thomason, John and Towe, Stephen and Weightman, Peter and Whyte, Colin and Xiao, Rachel (2020) LhARA : the laser-hybrid accelerator for radiobiological applications. Frontiers in Physics, Medical Physics and Imaging, 8. 567738.

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    Abstract

    The “Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applications,” LhARA, is conceived as a novel, flexible facility dedicated to the study of radiobiology. The technologies demonstrated in LhARA, which have wide application, will be developed to allow particle-beam therapy to be delivered in a new regimen, combining a variety of ion species in a single treatment fraction and exploiting ultra-high dose rates. LhARA will be a hybrid accelerator system in which laser interactions drive the creation of a large flux of protons or light ions that are captured using a plasma (Gabor) lens and formed into a beam. The laser-driven source allows protons and ions to be captured at energies significantly above those that pertain in conventional facilities, thus evading the current space-charge limit on the instantaneous dose rate that can be delivered. The laser-hybrid approach, therefore, will allow the radiobiology that determines the response of tissue to ionizing radiation to be studied with protons and light ions using a wide variety of time structures, spectral distributions, and spatial configurations at instantaneous dose rates up to and significantly beyond the ultra-high dose-rate “FLASH” regime. It is proposed that LhARA be developed in two stages. In the first stage, a programme of in vitro radiobiology will be served with proton beams with energies between 10 and 15 MeV. In stage two, the beam will be accelerated using a fixed-field alternating-gradient accelerator (FFA). This will allow experiments to be carried out in vitro and in vivo with proton beam energies of up to 127 MeV. In addition, ion beams with energies up to 33.4 MeV per nucleon will be available for in vitro and in vivo experiments. This paper presents the conceptual design for LhARA and the R&D programme by which the LhARA consortium seeks to establish the facility.

    ORCID iDs

    Aymar, Galen, Becker, Tobias, Boogert, Stewart, Borghesi, Marco, Bingham, Robert ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9843-7635, Brenner, Ceri, Burrows, Philip N., Ettlinger, Oliver C., Dascalu, Titus-Stefan, Gibson, Stephen, Greenshaw, Timothy, Gruber, Sylvia, Gujral, Dorothy, Hardiman, Claire, Hughes, Jonathan, Jones, W. G., Kirkby, Karen, Kurup, Ajit, Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste, Long, Kenneth R., Luk, Wayne, Matheson, John, McKenna, P. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8061-7091, Mclauchlan, Ruth, Najmudin, Zulfikar, Lau, Hin T., Parsons, Jason L., Pasternak, Jaroslaw, Pozimski, Juergen, Prise, Kevin, Puchalska, Monika, Ratoff, Peter, Schettino, Giuseppe, Shields, William, Smith, Susan, Thomason, John, Towe, Stephen, Weightman, Peter, Whyte, Colin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5431-2443 and Xiao, Rachel;