Data acquisition for PET in full-beam hadrontherapy
The invention is related to the techniques for monitoring the range of charged particles in the patient during an oncological adrotherapy treatment. In adrotherapy, light ion beams are accelerated so as to strike and damage the tumor tissue inside the patient while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues. The invention is an original technique for improving image quality thanks to a new method of indirect synchronization of the acquisition system with the accelerator.
The invention consists of a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) system capable of monitoring the range of a charged particles therapeutic beam during irradiation of an oncological patient. The system consists of two detection heads arranged at a distance of about 50 cm from each other, orthogonally to the beam direction. The detectors are based on scintillating blocks in LYSO and SiPM photosensors, read by a series of ASICs, which are themselves managed by an FPGA. The acquired data are processed in real time in the same FPGA and transmitted to a PC for further processing. A dedicated algorithm allows to filter in real time the acquired events reducing to a minimum the loss of data due to digital transmission limits.
- Study of fast hadronic low-energy processes to improve the predictive power of treatment planning systems;
- Monitoring of the treatment outcome in patients;
- Real-time monitoring and control of the range of charged particles in patients.
- Significant noise reduction in the monitoring data produced in the early phase of the treatment;
- Possible reduction of safety margins normally adopted in hadrontherapy (up to one cm around the tumor target) and therefore reduction of toxicity on healthy tissues;
- Monitoring operation less invasive compared to current systems thanks to the high efficiency of acquisition.