Cancer is first-leading cause of adult deaths. Radiation therapy based on x-rays cures approximately 50% of all cancer patients and is a fundamental pillar in cancer treatment. But, collateral damage of healthy surrounding tissues is unavoidable.
Proton beams differ from x-rays by the fact that their penetration depth is sharply determined and release their energy at the Bragg peak. In proton beam therapy the dosimetry is determined by simulations of the proton deposition in the tissue. However, organ movement and errors in the assumed material properties lead to inaccuracy of the deposition.
In this project a non-invasive, in-situ, real-time localization system for proton therapy monitoring using ultrasound contrast agents and highly sensitive optical-acoustical receivers is researched.
The technology developed in this project will allow doctors to monitor in real time whether the protons are getting to the right place in a patient’s body.