- •Therapeutic 16O beams interacting with a target produce abundant secondary radiation.
- •Production emission profiles, yields, and energy spectra were characterized experimentally at large angles.
- •16O induced charged secondary particles can be exploited for radiotherapy range monitoring.
- •The sensitivity of the technique was explored in homogeneous and heterogeneous PMMA targets.
- •The collected data is essential to assess the range monitoring accuracy and resolution.
Particle therapy is a therapy technique that exploits protons or light ions to irradiate tumor targets with high accuracy. Protons and 12C ions are already used for irradiation in clinical routine, while new ions like 4He and 16O 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 16O beam during target irradiation can be considered as candidates for 16O beam range monitoring. Hereafter, we report on the first yield measurements of protons, deuterons and tritons produced in the interaction of an 16O 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.
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Published online: June 24, 2019
Accepted: June 7, 2019
Received in revised form: May 23, 2019
Received: December 24, 2018
© 2019 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.