Detail Project and Funding

Study of radiobiological and radiotherapic effects of a novelo electron accelerators


Funded by: Ministero della Salute  
Calls: Bando Giovani Ricercatori 2009
Start date: 2012-02-13  End date: 2016-02-13
Total Budget: EUR 532.058,00  INO share of the total budget: EUR 249.295,50
Scientific manager: Labate Luca   and for INO is: Labate Luca

Organization/Institution/Company main assignee: CNR – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO)

other Organization/Institution/Company involved:
CNR – Istituto di Bioimmagini e Fisiologia Molecolare
CNR – Istituto di Fisologia Clinica
U.O. Fisica Sanitaria, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana

other INO’s people involved:
Baffigi Federica
Fulgentini Lorenzo
Giulietti Antonio
Gizzi Leonida Antonio
Koester Petra
Palla Daniele

Abstract: Over the past few years, laser-driven electron accelerators have been greatly evolving, in terms, for instance, of operation stability and reliability, so that their possible use for radiotherapy, such as, for instance, Intra-Operative Electron Radiation Therapy (IOERT), can be foreseen within the next decade. Indeed, the stable production of electron bunches with energies up to tens or even hundreds of MeV have been demonstrated to be easily achievable, thus representing a new option for radiotherapy applications. From a practical point of view, laser-driven electron accelerators would exhibit a wealth of advantages over conventional ones in terms of radioprotection requirements and flexibility.
However, before translating such a novel class of electron accelerator into the clinical practice, a few fundamental differences with respect to conventional LINAC sources must be taken into account and their possible biological consequences studied: In particular, a laser-driven electron accelerator features an electron bunch duration much smaller than a conventional accelerator. Further differences of a laser-driven accelerator when compared to a conventional one rely in the broader energy spectrum (when no advanced injection schemes are implemented, such as in the typical case of a tentatively “easy-to-use” accelerator for medicine) and a higher divergence. All of these issues demand for accurate studies related to both the dosimetric and the biological issues of a laser-driven accelerator.
The project, mainly funded by the italian Ministry of Health and involving, beside to the Istituto Nazionale di Ottica – CNR in Pisa, a large collaboration from CNR (IFC, IBFM, NANO) and AOUP-Pisa, is aimed at:
– optimizing a laser-driven accelerator (LDA) for different radiobiology/radiotherapy applications
– characterizing, in terms of electron energy spectrum, total charge, electron bunch divergence, available dose and so on, LDAs
– establishing and achieving the technical prerequisites for effective applications in medicine
– investigating the effects of LDA electron bunches on biological cells and comparing the results with the effects from bunches produced by conventional, RF based LINACS

INO’s Experiments/Theoretical Study correlated:
Laser-plasma acceleration of electrons and secondary (Compton) radiation sources
Dosimetry and radiobiology with laser-driven relativistic electron beams