Medical Applications of Particle Accelerators (NPAP MOOC)

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  • Introduction to the course and radiotherapy
    • Welcome to this course on medical applications of accelerators. The most important applications of accelerators in medicine are radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging using radionuclides, which both play a very important role in the treatment of cancer. Thus, the course focuses on these two applications of accelerators in medicine. In fact, accelerators for radiotherapy is the largest application of accelerators altogether with more than 11000 accelerators worldwide. These accelerators range from very compact electron linear accelerators with a length of only about 1 m to large carbon ion synchrotrons with a circumference of more than 50 m and a huge rotating carbon ion gantry with a weight of 600 tons. The course starts with an introduction to radiotherapy with focus on the biological properties of ionizing radiation. Subsequently, the electron linac for radiotherapy is presented. The main components of the electron linac are the multi-energy linac structure and the treatment head, which converts the electron beam to the desired dose distribution in the patient. Next, proton accelerators for radiotherapy are discussed with focus on the applied accelerator types and the treatment delivery technologies. Treatment with heavy ions and the challenges of proton and heavy ion therapy are also presented. Finally, the medical application of radionuclides are introduced and the production of radionuclides with cyclotrons is discussed.
  • Electron linacs for radiotherapy
  • Proton therapy I
  • Proton therapy II and production of medical radionuclides