A compact linac for intensity modulated proton therapy based on a dielectric wall accelerator

G. J. Caporaso, T. R. Mackie, S. Sampayan, Y. J. Chen, D. Blackfield, J. Harris, S. Hawkins, C. Holmes, S. Nelson, A. Paul, B. Poole, M. Rhodes, D. Sanders, J. Sullivan, L. Wang, J. Watson, P. J. Reckwerdt, R. Schmidt, D. Pearson, R. W. FlynnD. Matthews, J. Purdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A novel compact CT-guided intensity modulated proton radiotherapy (IMPT) system is described. The system is being designed to deliver fast IMPT so that larger target volumes and motion management can be accomplished. The system will be ideal for large and complex target volumes in young patients. The basis of the design is the dielectric wall accelerator (DWA) system being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The DWA uses fast switched high voltage transmission lines to generate pulsed electric fields on the inside of a high gradient insulating (HGI) acceleration tube. High electric field gradients are achieved by the use of alternating insulators and conductors and short pulse times. The system will produce individual pulses that can be varied in intensity, energy and spot width. The IMPT planning system will optimize delivery characteristics. The system will be capable of being sited in a conventional linac vault and provide intensity modulated rotational therapy. Feasibility tests of an optimization system for selecting the position, energy, intensity and spot size for a collection of spots comprising the treatment are underway. A prototype is being designed and concept designs of the envelope and environmental needs of the unit are beginning. The status of the developmental new technologies that make the compact system possible will be reviewed. These include, high gradient vacuum insulators, solid dielectric materials, SiC photoconductive switches and compact proton sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Hadron therapy
  • Linear accelerator
  • Proton therapy
  • Radiation therapy


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