Medipix3 detector tested in clinical environment

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The NHS Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (CCC) in the UK is a proton therapy facility which has treated patients with ocular cancers since 1989 using a 60 MeV passively scattered proton therapy beam.

QUASARs Jacinta Yap and Roland Schnuerer from the University of Liverpool and OMA Fellow Navrit Bal from ASI, visited Dr Andrzej Kacperek, Head Physicist of the Proton Therapy service at the CCC, in order to realise their long planned exploration of the capabilities of the Medipix3 detector in a clinical, high proton flux environment and compare its performance against EBT3 film, the current ‘gold standard’ for film dosimetry. This measurement focussed on the potential of Medipix3 as a suitable candidate for clinical particle therapy for beam quality assurance measurements.

The aims of this collaboration were broadly split between Jacinta’s simulation work and Navrit’s detector characterisation. Points of interest included the beam stability over time, comparing the beam profile to measurements, the integrated dose rate, background radiation between measurements, count rate linearity of the Medipix3 detector, cross-checking the Medipix3 with EBT3 film and unexpected variations in the beam profile at extremely low beam currents. These results shall then be compared with and benchmarked against measurements with the VELO detector which is being studied in detail by Roland.

The outcome of this joint work is intended to be presented at the 10th International Particle Accelerator Conference (IPAC) later in May 2019 where measurements and results will be presented. These first successful results showed the potential for applications of Medipix3 in proton therapy and follow-up measurements are now being planned.