An experimental study of focused very high energy electron beams for radiotherapy

Karolina Kokurewicz, Enrico Brunetti, Alessandro Curcio, Davide Gamba, Luca Garolfi, Antonio Gilardi, Eugenio Senes, Kyrre Ness Sjobak, Wilfrid Farabolini, Roberto Corsini, Dino Anthony Jaroszynski

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Very high energy electron (VHEE) beams have been proposed as an alternative radiotherapy modality to megavoltage photons; they penetrate deeply without significant scattering in inhomogeneous tissue because of their high relativistic inertia. However, the depth dose distribution of a single, collimated VHEE beam is quasi-uniform, which can lead to healthy tissue being overexposed. This can be largely overcome by focusing the VHEE beam to a small spot. Here we present experiments to demonstrate focusing as a means of concentrating dose into small volumetric elements inside a target. We find good agreement between measured dose distributions and Monte Carlo simulations. Focused radiation beams could be used to precisely target tumours or hypoxic regions of a tumour, which would enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy. The development of new accelerator technologies may provide future compact systems for delivering these focused beams to tumours, a concept that can also be extended to X-rays and hadrons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications Physics
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021


  • experimental study
  • very high energy electron beams
  • radiotherapy
  • VHEE
  • accelerator technologies
  • tumours
  • X-rays
  • hadrons


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