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Nuclear and Particle Physics

Proton therapy

by David Boersma (U)

Proton therapy is a form of radiotherapy, using proton beams instead of photon beams like in conventional radiotherapy. Protons lose most of their energy near the end of their track, which allows efficient dose delivery at a tumor with a relatively low dose in the surrounding healthy tissue. However, this improved conformity implies a larger sensitivity to geometrical uncertainties. I will present a Geant4-based framework that we developed at Akademiska Sjukhuset and Skandionkliniken for studying the effect of breathing motion on the dose distribution of proton treatment of tumors near the lungs. This kind of research requires a lot of programming, physics and statistical data analysis, which makes it a rewarding and interesting topic for nuclear/particle physicists who wish to apply their skills to 'something practical'.
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