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Phys Med Biol. 2009 Jun 7;54(11):3315-28. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/11/003. Epub 2009 May 8.

Treatment planning for laser-accelerated very-high energy electrons.

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Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


In recent experiments, quasi-monoenergetic and well-collimated very-high energy electron (VHEE) beams were obtained by laser-plasma accelerators. We investigate their potential use for radiation therapy. Monte Carlo simulations are used to study the influence of the experimental characteristics such as beam energy, energy spread and initial angular distribution on the dose distributions. It is found that magnetic focusing of the electron beam improves the lateral penumbra. The dosimetric properties of the laser-accelerated VHEE beams are implemented in our inverse treatment planning system for intensity-modulated treatments. The influence of the beam characteristics on the quality of a prostate treatment plan is evaluated. In comparison to a clinically approved 6 MV IMRT photon plan, a better target coverage is achieved. The quality of the sparing of organs at risk is found to be dependent on the depth. The bladder and rectum are better protected due to the sharp lateral penumbra at low depths, whereas the femoral heads receive a larger dose because of the large scattering amplitude at larger depths.

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