An experimental study of focused very high energy electron beams for radiotherapy

Kokurewicz, Karolina and Brunetti, Enrico and Curcio, Alessandro and Gamba, Davide and Garolfi, Luca and Gilardi, Antonio and Senes, Eugenio and Sjobak, Kyrre Ness and Farabolini, Wilfrid and Corsini, Roberto and Jaroszynski, Dino Anthony (2021) An experimental study of focused very high energy electron beams for radiotherapy. Communications Physics, 4. 33. ISSN 2399-3650

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    Abstract

    Very high energy electron (VHEE) beams have been proposed as an alternative radiotherapy modality to megavoltage photons; they penetrate deeply without significant scattering in inhomogeneous tissue because of their high relativistic inertia. However, the depth dose distribution of a single, collimated VHEE beam is quasi-uniform, which can lead to healthy tissue being overexposed. This can be largely overcome by focusing the VHEE beam to a small spot. Here we present experiments to demonstrate focusing as a means of concentrating dose into small volumetric elements inside a target. We find good agreement between measured dose distributions and Monte Carlo simulations. Focused radiation beams could be used to precisely target tumours or hypoxic regions of a tumour, which would enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy. The development of new accelerator technologies may provide future compact systems for delivering these focused beams to tumours, a concept that can also be extended to X-rays and hadrons.

    ORCID iDs

    Kokurewicz, Karolina ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7547-4783, Brunetti, Enrico ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8302-9762, Curcio, Alessandro, Gamba, Davide, Garolfi, Luca, Gilardi, Antonio, Senes, Eugenio, Sjobak, Kyrre Ness, Farabolini, Wilfrid, Corsini, Roberto and Jaroszynski, Dino Anthony ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3006-5492;