Positioning of head and neck patients for proton therapy using proton range probes: a proof of concept study

Hammi, A; Placidi, L; Weber, Damien Charles; Lomax, A J (2017). Positioning of head and neck patients for proton therapy using proton range probes: a proof of concept study. Physics in medicine and biology, 63(1), 015025. Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.1088/1361-6560/aa9cff

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To exploit the full potential of proton therapy, accurate and on-line methods to verify the patient positioning and the proton range during the treatment are desirable. Here we propose and validate an innovative technique for determining patient misalignment uncertainties through the use of a small number of low dose, carefully selected proton pencil beams ('range probes') (RP) with sufficient energy that their residual Bragg peak (BP) position and shape can be measured on exit. Since any change of the patient orientation in relation to these beams will result in changes of the density heterogeneities through which they pass, our hypothesis is that patient misalignments can be deduced from measured changes in Bragg curve (BC) shape and range. As such, a simple and robust methodology has been developed that estimates average proton range and range dilution of the detected residual BC, in order to locate range probe positions with optimal prediction power for detecting misalignments. The validation of this RP based approach has been split into two phases. First we retrospectively investigate its potential to detect translational patient misalignments under real clinical conditions. Second, we test it for determining rotational errors of an anthropomorphic phantom that was systematically rotated using an in-house developed high precision motion stage. Simulations of RPs in these two scenarios show that this approach could potentially predict translational errors to lower than1.5 mm and rotational errors to smaller than 1° using only three or five RPs positions respectively.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Radiation Oncology

UniBE Contributor:

Weber, Damien Charles


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Institute of Physics Publishing IOP




Beatrice Scheidegger

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2018 15:19

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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