Accelerators for heavy-charged-particle radiation therapy.

Department of Radiation Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.
Technology in cancer research & treatment (Impact Factor: 1.89). 09/2007; 6(4 Suppl):49-54. DOI: 10.1177/15330346070060S408
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper focuses on current and future designs of medical hadron accelerators for treating cancers and other diseases. Presently, five vendors and several national laboratories have produced heavy-particle medical accelerators for accelerating nuclei from hydrogen (protons) up through carbon and oxygen. Particle energies are varied to control the beam penetration depth in the patient. As of the end of 2006, four hospitals and one clinic in the United States offer proton treatments; there are five more such facilities in Japan. In most cases, these facilities use accelerators designed explicitly for cancer treatments. The accelerator types are a combination of synchrotrons, cyclotrons, and linear accelerators; some carry advanced features such as respiration gating, intensity modulation, and rapid energy changes, which contribute to better dose conformity on the tumor when using heavy charged particles. Recent interest in carbon nuclei for cancer treatment has led some vendors to offer carbon-ion and proton capability in their accelerator systems, so that either ion can be used. These features are now being incorporated for medical accelerators in new facilities.

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