Particle therapy is an advanced cancer therapy that uses a feature known as the Bragg peak, in which particle beams suddenly lose their energy near the end of their range. The Bragg peak enables particle beams to damage tumors effectively. To achieve precise therapy, the demand for accurate and quantitative imaging of the beam irradiation region or dosage during therapy has increased. The most common method of particle range verification is imaging of annihilation gamma rays by positron emission tomography. Not only 511-keV gamma rays but also prompt gamma rays are generated during therapy; therefore, the Compton camera is expected to be used as an on-line monitor for particle therapy, as it can image these gamma rays in real time. Proton therapy, one of the most common particle therapies, uses a proton beam of approximately 200 MeV, which has a range of ∼ 25 cm in water. As gamma rays are emitted along the path of the proton beam, quantitative evaluation of the reconstructed images of diffuse sources becomes crucial, but it is far from being fully developed for Compton camera imaging at present. In this study, we first quantitatively evaluated reconstructed Compton camera images of uniformly distributed diffuse sources, and then confirmed that our Compton camera obtained 3 %(1 σ) and 5 %(1 σ) uniformity for line and plane sources, respectively. Based on this quantitative study, we demonstrated on-line gamma imaging during proton irradiation. Through these studies, we show that the Compton camera is suitable for future use as an on-line monitor for particle therapy.
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