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Sellner S.,Max Plack Institute For Kernphysik | Boll R.,Max Plack Institute For Kernphysik | Caccia M.,University of Insubria | Negrini L.,University of Insubria | And 4 more authors.
Hyperfine Interactions | Year: 2012

The use of heavy charged particles for cancer therapy has the potential for a significant improvement of the therapeutic window compared to standard X-ray treatments. This is due to the improved energy deposition profile, exhibiting a well-defined peak at a depth in target controllable by the initial energy of the beam. Particles heavier than protons in addition show an increase in biological effectiveness. Compared to protons or heavy ions, antiprotons deposit additional annihilation energy, mostly by low energy recoils, resulting in an increase of dose and also adding a component with high biological effectiveness in the target region. The relative magnitude of the physical energy deposition of antiprotons compared to protons was measured at Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR) by A. Sullivan, but no study of the biological effect had been conducted prior to the Antiproton Cell Experiment (AD-4/ACE) experiment at CERN. The special conditions found at CERN present significant challenges, but also offer unique opportunities. 500 ns pulses of antiprotons are extracted from the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) at 500 MeV/c momentum. Biological cell samples are irradiated and clonogenic survival fractions are measured for various doses. To extract biological efficiency, the physical dose deposition is obtained by Monte-Carlo calculations in conjunction with shot-by-shot monitoring of the incoming beam intensity and profile using a silicon pixel detector. Also imaging of the pions resulting from antiproton annihilations in the target using silicon pixel detector technology to determine the actual range in more complex targets with strong variations in material densities was carried out. The feasibility of this technique using a novel arrangement of the detector was demonstrated. This paper describes the ACE experiment and focuses on the different detector activities within the AD-4/ACE collaboration, explaining the experimental set-up, physical and biological methods used, recent results, and future plans. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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