Proton Computed Tomography – Accurate Radiation Treatment

Proton computed tomography is an effective radiation treatment that has the potential to improve the accuracy of dose calculations for proton treatment planning, and is useful for pretreatment verification of patient positioning.

The proton beams used for Proton computed tomography can destroy tumors better as compared to other radiation treatment options. These proton beams deliver their energy in a very accurate way, while leaving the surrounding healthy tissues undamaged. Proton computed tomography using proton radiation has proved advantageous in radiation therapy due to its ability to deliver high doses to well-defined tumors or other targets close to critical normal structures. However, this treatment requires a very accurate prediction of the Bragg peak position within the patient's body.

In existing proton treatment centers, proton dose calculations have been performed using X-ray computed tomography (xCT). However, the precision of X-ray computed tomography for proton treatment planning is limited due to the difference in physical interactions between photons and protons. Other advantages of Proton computed tomography in proton therapy include the possibility of confirming the correct delivery of a proton treatment plan while the patient is in the treatment position.

The recent developments have advanced from simple proton film radiography to CT reconstructions employing individual proton tracking techniques. Current work is devoted to the comparison of conventional x-ray CT and proton computed tomography as two alternative methods for evaluating the physical properties of the human body, required for proton treatment planning.

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