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15 February 2008 Laser-plasma generated very high energy electrons in radiation therapy of the prostate
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Monte Carlo simulation experiments have shown that very high energy electrons (VHEE), 150-250 MeV, have potential advantages in prostate cancer treatment over currently available electrons, photon and proton beam treatment. Small diameter VHEE beamlets can be scanned, thereby producing a finer resolution intensity modulated treatment than photon beams. VHEE beams may be delivered with greater precision and accelerators may be constructed at significantly lower cost than proton beams. A VHEE accelerator may be optimally designed using laser-plasma technology. If the accelerator is constructed to additionally produce low energy photon beams along with VHEE, real time imaging, bioprobing, and dose enhancement may be performed simultaneously. This paper describes a Monte Carlo experiment, using the parameters of the electron beam from the UCLA laser-plasma wakefield accelerator, whereby dose distributions on a human prostate are generated. The resulting dose distributions of the very high energy electrons are shown to be comparable to photon beam dose distributions. This simple experiment illustrates that the nature of the dose distribution of electrons is comparable to that of photons. However, the main advantage of electrons over photons and protons lies in the delivery and manipulation of electrons, rather than the nature of the dose distribution. This paper describes the radiation dose delivery of electrons employing technologies currently in exploration and evaluates potential benefits as compared with currently available photon and protons beams in the treatment of prostate and other cancers, commonly treated with radiation.
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Colleen DesRosiers, Vadim Moskvin, Minsong Cao, Chandrashekhar J. Joshi, and Mark Langer "Laser-plasma generated very high energy electrons in radiation therapy of the prostate", Proc. SPIE 6881, Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers VIII, 688109 (15 February 2008);

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