- Conference date: 23-27 August 2004
- Location: Bajina Basta (Serbia and Montenegro)
Protontherapy is a well‐established approach to treat cancer due to the favorable ballistic properties of proton beams. The specific dependence of proton energy losses in biological tissues (the Bragg peak) promotes the solution of one of the main problems of radiation therapy, namely, the irradiation of a malignant tumor with a sufficiently strong and homogeneous dose, ensuring that the irradiation of the surrounding healthy tissues and organs is minimal. Nevertheless, this treatment is today only possible with large scale accelerator facilities which are very difficult to install at existing hospitals. In present talk we discuss the feasibility of using laser plasma as a source of high‐energy ions for the purposes of proton therapy. The proposal is based on the efficient ion acceleration theoretically predicted and observed in recent laboratory and numerical experiments on the interaction of high‐power laser radiation with solid targets. In the scheme proposed, a beam of fast ions accelerated by a laser pulse can be integrated in the installations intended for proton therapy. These applications require charged particle beams of high quality (i.e., such that the ratio of the energy width of the beam to its mean energy is small). In order to produce beams with controlled quality, it is proposed to use double‐layer targets in which the first layer consists of heavy multicharged ions and the second layer (thin and narrow in the transverse direction) consists of protons. We also discuss the possibility of the ion acceleration up to energies needed for the hadron therapy with the usage of the high repetition rate, moderate intensity lasers.
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