Optimization of the signal-to-background ratio in prompt gamma imaging using energy- and shifting time-of-flight discrimination: experiments with a scanning parallel-slit collimator

P. Cambraia Lopes Ferreira da Silva, Pablo Serra Crespo, Jan Huizenga, Dennis Schaart

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Abstract

Much attention is currently being paid to imaging prompt gamma (PG) rays for in vivo proton range monitoring in proton therapy. PG imaging using a collimator is affected by neutron-related background. We study the effectiveness of background reduction experimentally, using a scanning parallel-slit PG collimator as a simplified model of a multislat PG camera. The analysis is focused on the falloff region of the PG intensity profile near the Bragg peak, which is the typical region of interest for proton range estimation. Background reduction was studied for different energy windows, with and without a shifting time-of-flight window that takes into account the proton velocity within the phantom. Practical methods are put forward that apply to cyclotron-based pencil beams. The parallel-slit collimator was placed in front of arrays of cerium-doped lutetium yttrium silicate-coupled digital silicon photomultipliers, used to measure energy and time spectra together with intensity profiles of prompt events emitted from a polymethylmethacrylate phantom irradiated with a 160-MeV proton pencil beam. The best signal-to-background ratio of ~1.6 was similar to that obtained previously with a knife-edge-slit collimator. However, the slope-over-noise ratio in the PG-profile falloff region, was ~1.2 higher for the present collimator, given its better resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)510-519
JournalIEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences
Volume2
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Collimators
  • Protons
  • Particle beams
  • Detectors
  • Radio frequency
  • Phantoms

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