Proton therapy is a high precision technique in cancer radiation therapy which allows irradiating the tumor with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. Pencil beam scanning is the most advanced dose distribution technique and it is based on a variable energy beam of a few millimeters FWHM which is moved to cover the target volume. Due to spurious effects of the accelerator, of dose distribution system and to the unavoidable scattering inside the patient's body, the pencil beam is surrounded by a halo that produces a peripheral dose. To assess this issue, nuclear emulsion films interleaved with tissue equivalent material were used for the first time to characterize the beam in the halo region and to experimentally evaluate the corresponding dose. The high-precision tracking performance of the emulsion films allowed studying the angular distribution of the protons in the halo. Measurements with this technique were performed on the clinical beam of the Gantry1 at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Proton tracks were identified in the emulsion films and the track density was studied at several depths. The corresponding dose was assessed by Monte Carlo simulations and the dose profile was obtained as a function of the distance from the center of the beam spot. copy; 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mathematical Physics