A beam monitoring and validation system for continuous line scanning in proton therapy

Klimpki, G; Psoroulas, S; Bula, C; Rechsteiner, U; Eichin, M; Weber, Damien Charles; Lomax, A; Meer, D (2017). A beam monitoring and validation system for continuous line scanning in proton therapy. Physics in medicine and biology, 62(15), pp. 6126-6143. Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.1088/1361-6560/aa772e

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Line scanning represents a faster and potentially more flexible form of pencil beam scanning than conventional step-and-shoot irradiations. It seeks to minimize dead times in beam delivery whilst preserving the possibility of modulating the dose at any point in the target volume. Our second generation proton gantry features irradiations in line scanning mode, but it still lacks a dedicated monitoring and validation system that guarantees patient safety throughout the irradiation. We report on its design and implementation in this paper. In line scanning, we steer the proton beam continuously along straight lines while adapting the speed and/or current frequently to modulate the delivered dose. We intend to prevent delivery errors that could be clinically relevant through a two-stage system: safety level 1 monitors the beam current and position every 10 μs. We demonstrate that direct readings from ionization chambers in the gantry nozzle and Hall probes in the scanner magnets provide required information on current and position, respectively. Interlocks will be raised when measured signals exceed their predefined tolerance bands. Even in case of an erroneous delivery, safety level 1 restricts hot and cold spots of the physically delivered fraction dose to  ±[Formula: see text] (±[Formula: see text] of [Formula: see text] biologically). In safety level 2-an additional, partly redundant validation step-we compare the integral line profile measured with a strip monitor in the nozzle to a forward-calculated prediction. The comparison is performed between two line applications to detect amplifying inaccuracies in speed and current modulation. This level can be regarded as an online quality assurance of the machine. Both safety levels use devices and functionalities already installed along the beamline. Hence, the presented monitoring and validation system preserves full compatibility of discrete and continuous delivery mode on a single gantry, with the possibility of switching between modes during the application of a single field.

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 15:02

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 18:51

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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