Emerging technologies for cancer therapy using accelerated particles

Author: Christian Graeff1,2, Lennart Volz1, Marco Durante1,2,3
1 GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Biophysics Department, Planckstraße 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany.
2 Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany.
3 Dipartimento di Fisica "Ettore Pancini", University Federico II, Naples, Italy.
Conference/Journal: Prog Part Nucl Phys
Date published: 2023 Jul 1
Other: Volume ID: 131 , Pages: 104046 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ppnp.2023.104046. , Word Count: 194

Cancer therapy with accelerated charged particles is one of the most valuable biomedical applications of nuclear physics. The technology has vastly evolved in the past 50 years, the number of clinical centers is exponentially growing, and recent clinical results support the physics and radiobiology rationale that particles should be less toxic and more effective than conventional X-rays for many cancer patients. Charged particles are also the most mature technology for clinical translation of ultra-high dose rate (FLASH) radiotherapy. However, the fraction of patients treated with accelerated particles is still very small and the therapy is only applied to a few solid cancer indications. The growth of particle therapy strongly depends on technological innovations aiming to make the therapy cheaper, more conformal and faster. The most promising solutions to reach these goals are superconductive magnets to build compact accelerators; gantryless beam delivery; online image-guidance and adaptive therapy with the support of machine learning algorithms; and high-intensity accelerators coupled to online imaging. Large international collaborations are needed to hasten the clinical translation of the research results.

Keywords: FLASH; Gantry; Medical accelerators; Moving targets; Particle therapy; Radioactive ions.

PMID: 37207092 PMCID: PMC7614547 (available on 2023-07-01) DOI: 10.1016/j.ppnp.2023.104046