SU-E-T-146: Beam Energy Spread Estimate Based On Bragg Peak Measurement




ProNova is installing and commissioning a two room proton therapy system in Knoxville, TN. Beam energy out of the 230MeV cyclotron was measured on Jan 24, 2015. Cyclotron beam was delivered into a Zebra multi layered IC detector calibrated in terms of penetration range in water. The analysis of the measured Bragg peak determines penetration range in water which can be subsequently converted into proton beam energy. We extended this analysis to obtain an estimate of the beam energy spread out of the cyclotron.


Using Monte Carlo simulations we established the correlation between Bragg peak shape parameters (width at 50% and 80% dose levels, distal falloff) and penetration range for a monoenergetic proton beam. For large uniform field impinging on a small area detector, we observed linear dependence of each Bragg peak parameter on beam penetration range as shown in Figure A. Then we studied how this correlation changes when the shape of Bragg peak is distorted by the beam focusing conditions. As shown in Figure B, small field size or diverging beam cause Bragg peak deformation predominantly in the proximal region. The distal shape of the renormalized Bragg peaks stays nearly constant. This excludes usage of Bragg peak width parameters for energy spread estimates.


The measured Bragg peaks had an average distal falloff of 4.86mm, which corresponds to an effective range of 35.5cm for a monoenergetic beam. The 32.7cm measured penetration range is 2.8cm less. Passage of a 230MeV proton beam through a 2.8cm thick slab of water results in a ±0.56MeV energy spread. As a final check, we confirmed agreement between shapes of the measured Bragg peak and one generated by Monte-Carlo code for proton beam with 0.56 MeV energy spread.


Proton beam energy spread can be estimated using Bragg peak analysis.