Dosimetry and Radiobiology for Laser Induced Proton Beams

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch of Mathematics and Physics

Abstract

Laser-generated ion beams have the potential to be used for future cancer therapies as they may provide compact, less expensive alternative sources to those currently used for proton and carbon-ion therapies. Ion-beam therapies have considerable advantages for treating tumours relative to high energy X-rays due to the defined deposition of energy via a Bragg Peak. This PhD project forms part of a large, EPSRC-funded collaborative effort aimed to develop laser-generated ion beams with properties suitable for future use in therapy, and test the consequences of exposure to these beams in normal and tumour cells. Laser produced ion beams deliver radiation dose at extremely high dose-rates in comparison to conventional sources and, in addition to exploring the radiobiology of this regime, a key goal of the PhD research will be to define effective approaches for proton and carbon dosimetry under these extreme conditions.
Motivated by the potential for future clinical applications, current experimental activities employing laser-driven sources are devoted to developing a methodology for carrying out meaningful biological assays in a laser-plasma environment , where doses of the order of several Gys can be delivered in a single irradiation. The development of appropriate approaches to dosimetry is a key challenge to be faced in the course of this research. Since the stability and reproducibility of laser-driven ion sources is still not ideal, for a correct estimate of the irradiation conditions, the dose must be measured reliably in the course of every irradiation event, ideally in a non-invasive manner. We will therefore devote effort to the appropriate calibration of film dosimeters in the specific energy and dose range of relevance to the laser-driven ion sources. This will include the validation of customised radio chromic films, as well as the use of alanine pellets and CR39 particle track detectors. In addition to these approaches to relative dosimetry, the project will aim to test the effectiveness in a laser-plasma environment of tools for absolute dosimetry such as Faraday cups and ion calorimeters.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509334/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2020
1649823 Studentship EP/N509334/1 30/09/2015 30/11/2019 Kathryn Polin
 
Description Within my research, I have been testing and assessing various methods of dosimetry for usage with laser-accelerated ion beams. Through experiments carried out in various different particle beam facilities, and through using different dosimetric methods, I am working towards developing a clearer understanding of which dosimetry tools are best suited for different experimental scenarios (such as for specific ion energy and dose ranges).
Exploitation Route Achieving accurate and reliable dosimetry methods is crucial in fully understanding the mechanisms of laser-driven ion beams. Therefore, as my research is based in developing dosimetry methods and their applicability for different ion-beam scenarios, the findings from my research can be used by teams working in this area, who will inevitably require reliable dosimetry.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Collaboration with LNS - INFN 
Organisation National Institute for Nuclear Physics
Department National Laboratories of the South
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of expertise in laser-acceleration, proposal of calibration experiments.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of beam time, expertise in Montecarlo modelling and dosimetry
Impact Several presentations at conferences.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with National Physical Laboratory 
Organisation National Physical Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provision of expertise in laser-acceleration, participation to facility experiments
Collaborator Contribution Co-supervision of the project, specialized training
Impact Several poster presentations.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Poster Presentation at 2016 ELI Summer School (ELISS 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Attended the 2016 ELI Summer School (ELISS) on Extreme Light Infrastructure. I presented a poster at this summer school, and developed many new professional connections.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Poster Presentation at 2016 NPL PPRIG Proton Therapy Physics Workshop 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I attended and presented a poster at the PPRIG workshop, held at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Dec 2016. This workshop was valuable to my research as it covered relevant topics to my research such as absolute dosimetry of proton beams and radiobiology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Poster Presentation at 2017 Christmas Meeting of the High Power Laser (HPL) Community 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Christmas Meeting conference based in Abingdon School and The Cosener's House, Oxford. Approximately 200 people were in attendence, and I made several new professional connections while attending.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Poster Presentation at 44th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics by Miss Kathryn Polin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster Presentation by Miss Kathryn Polin on "Investigating the response of Gafchromic EBT film to high LET radiation" (K. Polin, D. Doria, C. Scullion, G. Scandiano, G.A.P.Cirrone, R. Manna, G. Milluzzo, G. Petringa, F. Romano, V. Scuderi, M. Borghesi) at the 44th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics held in Belfast on 26-30 June 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.eps.org/m/event_details.asp?id=866254
 
Description Poster presentation at ICFDT5 Conference 2018, Italy - Kathryn Polin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Poster Presentation by Miss Kathryn Polin on "Irradiation and Dosimetry Arrangement for a Radiobiological Experiment Employing Laser-Accelerated Protons" (K. Polin, D. Doria, L. Romagnani, P. Chaudhary, C. Maiorino, G. Milluzzo, G. Petringa, F. Romano, V. Scuderi and M. Borghesi) at the ICFDT5 conference held in INFN-LNF, Italy on 3-5 October 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://agenda.infn.it/event/15217/
 
Description Poster presentation at IOP Plasma Physics Conference 2018, Belfast - Kathryn Polin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation on : "Investigating the response of gafchromic EBT3 films to high LET radiation"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://plasma2018.iopconfs.org/poster_programme