Upgrade of the proton research beam line in the ParTICLe proton therapy center into a high precision proton irradiator.
UZ Leuven and its partners are completing the construction of the first Belgian proton therapy center ParTICLe. The proton therapy center benefits from a unique configuration with two independent cyclotrons, one dedicated to the clinic and the other dedicated to research, both of which deliver protons up to 230 MeV, in two separate rooms. Because of its proximity to the MoSAIC, the research beam line could ideally be used to demonstrate specific effects of protons in pre-clinical models, especially those related to high dose rates (FLASH) but also more complex radiological effects such as the variation of the relative radiobiological effect (RBE) with depth. In addition, new detectors can also be investigated in the research line to develop compact, practical, and accurate detection systems. For example, members of the consortium are considering the development of planar detectors for protonradiography as well as ultrasound contrast agents developed as part of a European FET-open project for the development of effective in vivo dosimetry.
However, the current proton beam research installation does not allow to deliver complex sequences of scanned proton beams and multi-energies, which are characteristic of clinical treatments. In addition, preclinical studies require an advanced positioning system. The purpose of this request is to bring the research beam line to that level.