Project: PRONTO-CM B2017-BMD-3888 - Comunidad de Madrid in colaboration with UCM


Student: Amanda Nerio Aguirre

Protontherapy and nuclear techniques for oncology.

The arrival of the proton therapy technique to Spain in 2020 (at Quirónsalud and Clínica Universitaria de Navarra) and the new centers approved motivated new research activities. The objective of our activities is to design a prototype of proton scanner using the proton Computerized Tomography technique (proton CT). The use of this technique would allow to increase the accuracy of proton therapy treatment plans and a better control of the doses applied by reducing the uncertainties in the range of protons with respect to images obtained using conventional CT with X-rays. This is mainly due to the fact of being using the same particle for planning and treatment..

We work both at the IEM laboratory and performing Monte Carlo simulations with the aim of optimizing the experimental setup before the performance of an experiment at a proton-therapy center. In June 2021, our group at IEM carried out an experiment at the Cyclotron Centre Bronowice (CCB) in Krakow (Poland). Radiographs of several samples with spatial patterns built in aluminium inserted in a matrix of polymethil methacrylate (PMMA). Aditionally tomography scans of objects built with PMMA and including inserts of water and ethanol and another with an spatial pattern of holes were performed. Proton beams of 100 MeV for radiographs and 110 MeV for tomographs were used. The results obtained for the radiographs are shown in the image below. The experimental results were presented at international Conferences (ANIMMA 2021 and ANPC 2021) and they have been partially published.

The group continues analyzing the data by performing tomographic reconstruction aiming at optimizing the reconstruction algorithms used and obtaining the best posible images in order to evaluate the properties and potential of our device. A new experiment is already planned for next year, 2022, at the CCB facility. In this future experiment very relevant aspects such as the determination of Relative Stopping Powers (RSP) of different materials and the influence of Multiple Coulomb Scattering on the reconstructed images will be assessed in a further step towards a final implementation at clinical level.

Publications & Conference proceedings