Good day and welcome to this course!
The Nordic Particle Accelerator Program includes three courses, one of which is the NPAP - Medical Applications of Accelerators (NPAP). You will be taken on a tour that focuses on particle accelerator medical applications. You will notice that accelerators have two very important, but distinct, applications in hospitals. The first application is for tumour radiotherapy, and the second is for the production of medical nuclides for diagnosis and treatment. Both will be covered in this course and will be explained in four modules.
The first module covers the fundamental principles of radiotherapy from a medical and physics standpoint. There, you will learn about the main components of radiotherapy machines and why radiotherapy is important for cancer treatment.
The second module walks you through the various types of linear accelerators used in radiotherapy machines. It also describes the treatment head's design. The design is important because the treatment head settings determine the dose and the radiated region. The dose given to the patient is also measured in the treatment head.
The third module introduces you to proton therapy. Magnets are used to accelerate protons before guiding them down to the tumour in this type of therapy. The machines are significantly larger and more expensive than radiotherapy machines. The module also describes and compares various types of accelerators and explains how protons interact with tissue.
Ions heavier than protons can also be used in cancer therapy. This is covered in the fourth module, where you will also learn about the production of medical nuclides. You will learn how nuclides are created in proton and ion accelerators, as well as how nuclides are used in various locations throughout hospitals. Medical nuclides, for example, are used in Positron Electron Tomography, or PET.
1. Introduction to the course and radiotherapy
- A brief history of medical applications of accelerators
- What is radiotherapy?
- The main components of a radiotherapy electron linac
2. Electron linacs for radiotherapy
- The LINAC structure
- Travelling and standing wave linac structures
- Treatment head design
- Clinical workflow of radiotherapy with an electron linac
3. Proton therapy I
- Interactions of the proton with matter
- Examples of accelerators for proton therapy
- The proton gantry and nozzle
- Practical aspects of a proton therapy center
4. Proton therapy II and production of medical radionuclides
- Treatment delivery systems of heavy-ion therapy
- Introduction to the challenges of proton and heavy ion therapy
- Introduction to medical radionuclides
- Production of medical radionuclides
- Target design