gms | German Medical Science

48th Meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group

Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG)

28.09. - 03.10.2009, Heidelberg

Quality Assurance for Beam Scanning

Meeting Abstract

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  • Chr. P. Karger - German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Dept. of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology, Heidelberg, Germany

PTCOG 48. Meeting of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group. Heidelberg, 28.09.-03.10.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09ptcog106

doi: 10.3205/09ptcog106, urn:nbn:de:0183-09ptcog1069

Published: September 24, 2009

© 2009 Karger.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The interest in heavy ion radiotherapy is currently increasing worldwide [1], [2], [3]. While in the initial phase, most facilities were located at experimental institutions (such as the Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (USA), the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI, Germany) and the Paul-Scherrer Institute (PSI, Suisse), more and more facilities are being designed and installed in a clinical environment (such as HIMAC, Hyogo and Gunma in Japan, Heidelberg and Marburg in Germany, the CNAO-facility Italy and others). Safe application of particle radiotherapy requires a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) program. QA-programs have been developed e.g. for the GSI-Project [4], [5] and cover all aspects from beam delivery over interlock conditions, dosimetry, treatment planning, patient positioning and issues related to individual treatment plans.

Although the basic concepts have been developed within the experimental projects, these programs have to be extended to be sufficient within a clinical environment with several treatment rooms, the existence of a gantry, availability of several ion types, much higher patient numbers and where interactions with the clinical workflow for conventional photon therapy are to be expected. In addition, the QA-procedures may be different for active and passive beam delivery systems. Most QA-procedures will be independent of the ion type used, however, there may some tests which are different for protons and heavier particles. Although patient positioning techniques are not specific for particle radiotherapy, the involved range uncertainty may require an increased accuracy of the involved components. In addition, the use of robots for the treatment table and the imaging device (as done at the HIT-facility) poses an additional challenge. Finally, application of ion therapy for moving targets requires additional and ion-specific QA-measures.

The basic components of a QA-program for ion radiotherapy have been developed within experimental projects. For hospital-based facilities, these programs have to be adapted and significantly extended to allow safe and efficient clinical operation.


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