Developing a HELium Imaging Oncology Scanner for Range Guided Radiotherapy (RGRT)

Intensity modulated particle therapy (IMPT) with carbon ions is a promising treatment modality for tumors. Recently, a mixed carbon/helium beam has been proposed for online monitoring in carbon ion therapy. Fully ionized helium and carbon ions have the same mass/charge ratio, this allows for simultaneous acceleration in a synchrotron to the same energy per nucleon. Here, helium ions have about three times the range of carbon ions. This could allow for simultaneous use of the carbon ions for treatment and the helium ions for imaging.

We are working on developing a range guided dose calculation framework that can simulate the dose of mixed 12C/4He beams and the corresponding range radiographs for typical irradiation geometries and uncertainty estimates. This can be used to estimate the actually dose that was delivered during treatment, than can vary severely from the planned dose through patient motion and set up errors.

The project is funded by DFG, Grant No. WA 4707/3-1, Project No. 457509854.