Particle Therapy

Particle therapy is fast emerging as the method of choice for treating various cancers which are difficult or even impossible to treat by other methods. A dedicated particle accelerator, such as a cyclotron or synchrotron, accelerates ions such as protons or carbon nucleii to energies sufficient to penetrate the body. The particles are delivered to the patients in treatment stations using precision ion optics. The energy and spatial distribution of the particle beam at each station must be controlled to high accuracy, so that the tumor is irradiated while the dose to surrounding tissues is minimized. Because the majority of the energy deposition by a particle beam occurs in the Bragg peak at the end of range, the dose can be delivered to a tumor inside the body, but with much lower dose to the surface layers than can be achieved by conventional X-ray radiotherapy.

Several commercial particle therapy systems use Pyramid sensors, electronics and software for critical functions. We specialize particularly in pencil beam scanning ("PBS") which is widely acknowledged as the most flexible and effective method of particle therapy. Click for our PBS Products Brochure.

Illustrated above are pencil beam scanning components that Pyramid is supplying to the Francis H Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital to enhance the treatment and research capabilities of their fixed beamline treatment room. The equipment includes ionization chambers for real-time beam tracking, scanning magnet system, power amplifiers, beam position monitor, beam path and an integrated signal measurement and control electronics suite. The room also allows automated switching to double scattering mode, and thus provides a unique facility.

The annual PTCOG conference is the premier scientific forum for developments in particle therapy. Pyramid, together with collaborators from MGH, Harvard University and industry, has presented new developments at this meeting.

A Multipole Magnet Design for PBS
Amplifier Developments at MGH
A Multifunction Isocenter Diagnostic for PBS
Towards a Beam QA Procedure for PBS
A large-area high-resolution imaging detector system
An enhanced system for pencil beam characterization
Use of a multi-layer Faraday collector
A simulator system for PBS