Luminescence imaging of water during carbon-ion irradiation for range estimation




The authors previously reported successful luminescence imaging of water during proton irradiation and its application to range estimation. However, since the feasibility of this approach for carbon-ion irradiation remained unclear, the authors conducted luminescence imaging during carbon-ion irradiation and estimated the ranges.


The authors placed a pure-water phantom on the patient couch of a carbon-ion therapy system and measured the luminescence images with a high-sensitivity, cooled charge-coupled device camera during carbon-ion irradiation. The authors also carried out imaging of three types of phantoms (tap-water, an acrylic block, and a plastic scintillator) and compared their intensities and distributions with those of a phantom containing pure-water.


The luminescence images of pure-water phantoms during carbon-ion irradiation showed clear Bragg peaks, and the measured carbon-ion ranges from the images were almost the same as those obtained by simulation. The image of the tap-water phantom showed almost the same distribution as that of the pure-water phantom. The acrylic block phantom's luminescence image produced seven times higher luminescence and had a 13% shorter range than that of the water phantoms; the range with the acrylic phantom generally matched the calculated value. The plastic scintillator showed ∼15 000 times higher light than that of water.


Luminescence imaging during carbon-ion irradiation of water is not only possible but also a promising method for range estimation in carbon-ion therapy.