Improvement of Statistics in Proton Beam Range Measurement by Merging Prompt Gamma Distributions: A Preliminary Study

  • Kim, Sung Hun (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Park, Jong Hoon (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Ku, Youngmo (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Lee, Hyun Su (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Kim, Young-su (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Kim, Chan Hyeong (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Hanyang University) ;
  • Jeong, Jong Hwi (Proton Therapy Center, National Cancer Center)
  • Received : 2018.10.29
  • Accepted : 2019.01.03
  • Published : 2019.03.31


Background: To monitor proton beam in proton therapy, prompt gamma imaging systems are being developed by several research groups, and these systems are expected to improve the quality of the treatment and the patient safety. To apply the prompt gamma imaging systems into spot scanning proton therapy, the systems should be able to monitor the proton beam range of a spot with a small number of protons ( <$10^8$ protons), which is quite often not the case due to insufficient prompt gamma statistics. Materials and Methods: In the present study, we propose to improve prompt gamma statistics by merging the prompt gamma distributions of several individual spots into a new distribution. This proposal was tested by Geant4 Monte Carlo simulations for a multi-slit prompt gamma camera which has been developed to measure the proton beam range in the patient. Results and Discussion: The results show that the proposed method clearly enhance the statistical precision of beam range measurement. The accuracy of beam range verification is improved, within ~1.4 mm error, which is not achievable before applying the developed method. Conclusion: In this study, we tried to improve the statistics of the prompt gamma statistics by merging the prompt gamma distributions of multiple spots, and it was found that the merged distribution provided sufficient prompt gamma statistics and the proton beam range was determined accurately.


Supported by : Korea Foundation of Nuclear Safety (KoFONS)


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