Date and time: 21.05.2019 14:15-15:00

Place: C225

Slides can be found here (TBA)

Speaker: Ilker Meric

Title: NeutrOn and gamma-ray imaging for real-time range VerificatiOn and image guidance in particle therapy – The NOVO project

Abstract: Particle therapy (PT) is an emerging radiation therapy modality offering highly conformal treatment plans as compared to conventional radiation therapy, contributing to spare healthy tissue during treatment. This is mainly due to the finite range of particles in tissue and the steep dose gradient toward the end of their range. An important challenge associated with PT is the considerable uncertainties in the particle ranges in tissue predicted by treatment planning systems in addition to those resulting from tissue heterogeneities, anatomical changes as well as inter- and intra-fractional organ motion. Range uncertainties result in increased distal treatment margins in clinical protocols to ensure sufficient coverage of the tumor. Thus, it has not yet been possible to exploit the full potential of the finite range of protons in tissue, especially when tumors are located near organs at risk. In the PT community, the obvious need to eliminate range uncertainties prompted interest in the development of range monitoring techniques with high precision (~1-2mm). In the NOVO project, we propose to explore new techniques that will enable simultaneous detection and subsequent imaging of the production locations of secondary neutrons and prompt gamma-rays produced in nuclear reactions. We seek to “unify” dual (or multiple) particle imaging in a single device with potentially revolutionizing improvements in achievable counting statistics to allow range and dose verification on a spot-by-spot basis. To achieve this ambitious objective, the initial stages of the work consist mainly of model-based feasibility studies and design evaluations relying, for the most part, on Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of radiation transport in materials and geometries of interest. In this talk, the focus will thus be on the pertinent MC simulations of the problem geometries and the results of MC-based feasibility studies. We will also touch upon the computational needs for performing such numerical design studies and the current solution deployed at the Department of Electrical Engineering, HVL.