51st AAPM Annual Meeting
C-M Charlie Ma, PhD, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, 19111, US
For more information about the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, visit aapm.org/
AbstractID: 11988 Title: Laser-Driven Targetry: The road to clinical applications
Purpose: Significant efforts have been made through federal, industrial and institutional funding
to develop cost-effective alternatives to conventional accelerator-based particle therapy. This
presentation reviews the development of laser-accelerated particle beams as an alternative to
conventional accelerators for particle therapy.
Method and Materials: Many institutions and research groups have focused on their research
on the applications of laser-accelerated proton and ion beams for medical applications, in
particular for radiotherapy treatments. These include extensive investigations of optimal laser
parameters and target designs to achieve therapeutic particle energies, compact particle selection
and beam collimation designs for novel compact particle therapy systems, dose calculation and
treatment optimization for laser-accelerated proton beams, and system and shielding designs for
clinical prototype machines. Fox Chase Cancer Center has established a laser-ion acceleration
facility that consists of a commercial 150 TW laser, custom-made laser-pulse compression and
target chambers, particle selection and beam collimating devices, dosimetry monitoring systems
and shielding constructions. Initial laser-proton acceleration experiments were performed with
thin aluminum and plastic foils as target materials. Particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations were carried
out to investigate the optimal laser parameters and target configurations to facilitate laser-proton
acceleration and dosimetric studies.
Results: The maximum proton energy achieved by laser acceleration was 58 MeV. Our initial
testing with a 1018 W/cm2 laser intensity (at 20 TW) produced up to 4 MeV protons with a broad
energy spectrum, which confirmed the scalability of laser intensity and maximum proton energy.
A compact shielding designed was investigated using Monte Carlo simulations that allows for
the installation of the particle therapy head on a small rotating gantry.
Conclusion: Laser-accelerated proton and ion beams have a great potential to replace
conventional radiotherapy systems due to its compact design and cost-effectiveness. Many
technical and engineering issues must be solved before a clinical prototype can be built for