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Experimental setup to measure magnetic field effects of proton dose distributions: simulation study

Schellhammer, S. M.; Oborn, B.; Lühr, A.; Gantz, S.; Bussmann, M.; Hoffmann, A. L.


Background and Purpose: As an initial step towards MR-integrated proton therapy, a setup is introduced capable to measure thedose deposited by a proton beam within a magnetic field in tissue-equivalent material. Simulations are performed predicting the experimental outcome and radiation-induced risk effects on the magnet.
Material and Methods: The setup comprises proton pencil beams (80-180 MeV; Ø10 mm) passing through a transverse magnetic field of a permanent dipole magnet (0.95 T) while being stopped inside a PMMA phantom. Using a combined Monte Carlo and finite-element model validated by reference measurements of magnetic flux density, depth-dose distributions and beam profiles, 2D dose distributions of the central plane are simulated.
Depth-dose curves and beam trajectories are extracted. A worst-case estimate of radioactivation and demagnetization of the magnet is made.
Results: The model shows excellent agreement with the reference measurements. Mean dose to the magnets is below 2 μGy, and the initial activation below 12 kBq for a dose of 1 Gy in the film. The predicted deflection of the Bragg peak ranges from 1 mm to 9 mm.
Conclusions: The magnetic field induced beam deflections are measurable with the presented setup and radiation-induced magnet damage is expected to be manageable. This demonstrates the feasibility of a benchmarking experiment.

Keywords: proton therapy; MR-guided radiotherapy; beam deflection; dose measurement; Monte Carlo simulation


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