Medical physics aspects of particle therapy

  • Jäkel O
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Charged particle beams offer an improved dose conformation to the target volume when compared with photon radiotherapy, with better sparing of normal tissue structures close to the target. In addition, beams of heavier ions exhibit a strong increase of the linear energy transfer in the Bragg peak when compared with the entrance region. These physical and biological properties make ion beams more favourable for radiation therapy of cancer than photon beams. As a consequence, particle therapy with protons and heavy ions has gained increasing interest worldwide. This contribution summarises the physical and biological principles of charged particle therapy with ion beams and highlights some of the developments in the field of beam delivery, the principles of treatment planning and the determination of absorbed dose in ion beams. The clinical experience gathered so far with carbon ion therapy is briefly reviewed.

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  • Oliver Jäkel

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