Recently, much research on imaging the clinical proton-irradiated volume using positron emitter nuclei based on target nuclear fragment reaction has been carried out. The purpose of this study is to develop an activity pencil beam (APB) algorithm for a simulation system for proton-activated positron-emitting imaging in clinical proton therapy using spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) beams.Methods:
The target nuclei of activity distribution calculations are12C nuclei, 16O nuclei, and 40Ca nuclei, which are the main elements in a human body. Depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations were obtained from the material information of ridge filter (RF) and depth activity distributions of compounds of the three target nuclei measured by BOLPs-RGp (beam ON-LINE PET system mounted on a rotating gantry port) with mono-energetic Bragg peak (MONO) beam irradiations. The calculated data of depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations were sorted in terms of kind of nucleus, energy of proton beam, SOBP width, and thickness of fine degrader (FD), which were verified. The calculated depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations were compared with the measured ones. APB kernels were made from the calculated depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations to construct a simulation system using the APB algorithm for SOBP beams.Results:
The depth activity distributions were prepared using the material information of RF and the measured depth activity distributions with MONO beam irradiations for clinical therapy using SOBP beams. With the SOBP width widening, the distal fall-offs of depth activity distributions and the difference from the depth dose distributions were large. The shapes of the calculated depth activity distributions nearly agreed with those of the measured ones upon comparison between the two. The APB kernels of SOBP beams were prepared by making use of the data on depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations that were made from the depth activity distributions with MONO beam irradiations and sorted in terms of energy, SOBP width, and thickness of FD. The data on APB kernels of SOBP beams were determined as installment data for the simulation system using the APB algorithm for SOBP beam irradiations.Conclusions:
A method of obtaining the depth activity distributions and the APB algorithm for clinical use of SOBP beams have been developed. It is suggested that the simulation system for imaging the clinical irradiated volume with the APB algorithm can be used in clinical proton therapy using SOBP beams by preparing and investigating the data on APB kernels of SOBP beams.