Perozziello, Francesca Margaret (2016) Laser-driven beams for future medical applications. [Tesi di dottorato]


Download (5MB) | Preview
[error in script] [error in script]
Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Lingua: English
Title: Laser-driven beams for future medical applications
Perozziello, Francesca MargaretFRANCESCAMP@HOTMAIL.IT
Date: March 2016
Number of Pages: 116
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Fisica
Scuola di dottorato: Ingegneria industriale
Dottorato: Tecnologie innovative per materiali, sensori ed imaging
Ciclo di dottorato: 28
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
Date: March 2016
Number of Pages: 116
Uncontrolled Keywords: Laser-driven, radiobiology
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/07 - Fisica applicata (a beni culturali, ambientali, biologia e medicina)
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2016 13:44
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2016 13:41


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries and one-third of the population experiences it during their lifespan. Moreover, about half of all cancer patients undergo some form of radiotherapy. In recent years, proton-based radiotherapy has attracted growing interest and has become an increasingly common treatment modality. The exploitation of accelerated protons for cancer treatment is based on their superior ballistic properties compared to photons, which translates in advantages in terms of dose distribution to tumor and sparing of normal tissue. Clinical facilities employing charged-particle beams produced by synchrotron, cyclotron or LINAC accelerators have to face high installation (approximately 200M€ per center), management and running costs besides the large spaces required to install such equipment. These represent serious limiting factors. In fact, worldwide the existing hadrontherapy centers are very few (about 40) compared to the demand. The need for cost and size reduction has stimulated research activities spanning across physics, biology and medicine to develop novel, more cost-effective ways of cancer treatment pointing to compact, single-room accelerators as a possible alternative. Optical ion acceleration based on laser-plasma interaction has become a popular topic for multidisciplinary applications and opened new scenarios in the ion therapy framework, representing a possible future alternative to classic accelerators reducing costs and operational complexity. Particle acceleration from laser-matter interaction is an emerging technique employing ultra-short (from fs to ps) and ultra-intense (≥ 10^19 W/cm^2) power lasers to produce particle bursts of ultra-high dose-rates (≥ 10^9 Gy/s), which are orders of magnitude larger than the ones used in conventional therapy (1-10 Gy/min). Up to now, the highest energies laser-driven ion beams have been obtained exploiting the TNSA (Target Normal Sheath Acceleration) regime identified as the appropriate mechanism to produce, in a near future, energies useful for medical applications, i.e. in the order of 250 MeV. Clinically amenable laser-driven proton beams require specific constraints to be met, such as beam reproducibility, homogeneity and stability. Therefore, there is a significant technological effort to achieve a satisfactory level of the beam parameters as well as understand the biological consequences that a regime much different from the conventional one can have. In this thesis, proof-of-principle experiments are described that aimed at optimizing the control of such peculiar beams from the dosimetric point of view (TARANIS laser facility, Belfast, UK) and at collecting preliminary data on their radiobiological effectiveness (LULI laser facility, Paris, France). The latter is a mandatory task to validate any possible future use in cancer therapy of laser-driven protons. The results obtained are promising and, if corroborated by future experiments, may represent the first step towards a much hoped-for clinical feasibility. The work has been carried out in the framework of the EU funded project ELIMED and the Italian joint project PLASMAMED (funded by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, INFN).

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item