Aspect of physical principles of the proton therapy with inclusion of nuclear interactions

Waldemar H Ulmer, Alejandro Carabe-Fernandez


The radiotherapy of malignant diseases has reached much progress during the past decade. Thus, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and VMAT (Rapid Arc) now belong to the standard modalities of tumor treatment with high energy radiation in clinical practice. In recent time, the particle therapy (protons and partially with heavy carbon ions) has reached an important completion of these modalities with regard to some suitable applications. In spite of this enrichment essential features need further research activities and publications in this field: Nuclear reactions, the role of the released neutrons and the distinction between elastic and inelastic scatter of protons at nuclei as specific contributions of the total nuclear cross-section Qtot(E); transmutations of nuclear fissions products (e.g. Cs137) induced by protons in order to drastically reduce the half-times (transmutations); electron capture of positively charged nuclei at lower projectile energies (e.g. in the environment of the Bragg peak and at the distal end of the particle track); correct dose delivery in scanning methods by accounting for the influence of the lateral scatter of beam-lets. Deconvolution methods can help to overcome these problems, which already occur in a rather significant manner in radiotherapy of very small photon beams.


Bragg-Kleeman rule, Bethe-Bloch equations, scatter theory, convolutions and deconvolutions, nuclear interactions and cross-sections

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