DEI's researchers develop a gamma detector to monitor patient's dose in radiotherapy
There's a real need for accurate monitoring of proton range in patient radiotherapy. This is a significant advantage in using a monitoring techniques based on detection of prompt gammas with respect to the established PET technique. With prompt gammas, there is not need to wait for positron emitters to decay, and the measured signal is not corrupted by washout effects or activity remaining from previous fields. The difficulty is related to the necessary high-count-rate capability of the detector.
To investigate in more depth this new technique, the company IBA (Belgium), world leader in the field of instrumentation for radiotherapy, the UniversitÚ Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione of the Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and spin-off XGLab have performed Monte Carlo simulations of a prompt gamma camera, and successfully carried out preliminary experiments using a cylindrical PMMA target irradiated with a pencil beam of 100-160-230 MeV protons in a radiotherapy center in Hamburg (Germany).
These results obtained with the participation of the DEI research group led by Prof. Carlo Fiorini, were published in an important medical physics website: http://medicalphysicsweb.org/cws/article/research/49909