• Focused VHEE (very high energy electron) beams and dose delivery for radiotherapy applications

      Whitmore, L.; Mackay, R. I.; van Herk, M.; Jones, J. K.; Jones, R. M.; email: Roger.Jones@manchester.ac.uk (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-07-07)
      Abstract: This paper presents the first demonstration of deeply penetrating dose delivery using focused very high energy electron (VHEE) beams using quadrupole magnets in Monte Carlo simulations. We show that the focal point is readily modified by linearly changing the quadrupole magnet strength only. We also present a weighted sum of focused electron beams to form a spread-out electron peak (SOEP) over a target region. This has a significantly reduced entrance dose compared to a proton-based spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP). Very high energy electron (VHEE) beams are an exciting prospect in external beam radiotherapy. VHEEs are less sensitive to inhomogeneities than proton and photon beams, have a deep dose reach and could potentially be used to deliver FLASH radiotherapy. The dose distributions of unfocused VHEE produce high entrance and exit doses compared to other radiotherapy modalities unless focusing is employed, and in this case the entrance dose is considerably improved over existing radiations. We have investigated both symmetric and asymmetric focusing as well as focusing with a range of beam energies.