An Introduction to Proton Beam Therapy Facility Design

12 February 2021

Free Webinar, 12:00 - 13:00 (GMT)

The aim of this webinar was to provide an introduction to Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) as a radiotherapy technique and to outline some of the differences between the design of PBT facilities compared to more traditional external beam radiotherapy facilities.

View the presentation and questions and answers document (member access only).  The video from the webinar can be found at the bottom of this page.

The radiation protection requirements for PBT facilities are driven by the secondary neutron radiation field that is generated when the primary proton beam interacts with materials in the accelerator, along the beam delivery system and, finally, in the patient. The neutron field characteristics depend on the beam energy and the interaction materials and are very difficult to determine accurately using empirical calculations. As a result Monte Carlo particle transport simulations are typically used to design and assess radiation shielding for PBT facilities. The neutron radiation field also has implications with regard to the activation of materials both inside and outside of the facility.

Aurora provided the radiation shielding design for the first UK NHS high energy PBT facility at The Christie Hospital in Manchester and has provided design advice for a number of other centres around the world. We will use our experience to provide an overview of the shielding design process for PBT, including setting design parameters and RPA involvement, and discuss some of the challenges. 

Jill Reay, FSRP, Director, Radiation Protection Adviser, Radioactive Waste Adviser, Registered Clinical Scientist and Medical Physics Expert
Aurora Health Physics Services Limited
Jill is one of Aurora’s specialists in Monte Carlo modelling techniques, primarily MCNP, which are used for radiation shielding design. MCNP is particularly useful for Proton Beam Therapy and other facilities for which empirical methods are not available or appropriate, for example, high energy electron beam research, determination of neutron scatter through penetrations or down mazes in traditional linear accelerator facilities and assessment of novel shielding materials. Aurora provided the radiation shielding design for the first NHS PBT centre in the UK, at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, and has undertaken radiation shielding design work for numerous other high energy particle facilities in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Jill’s interest in Radiation Protection started during her years as a BNFL sponsored student, graduating from Imperial College London with a BSc (Hons) in Physics. She began her career in radiation protection by completing the Ministry of Defence Graduate Health Physics Training scheme and going on to manage the Dosimetry Office at Devonport Royal Dockyard. In 1998, she changed sector and became a Clinical Scientist with the Regional Medical Physics Department in Newcastle Upon Tyne. In this role she acted as Radiation Protection Adviser and Medical Physics Expert to a number of hospitals and dental practices in the North of England.

Jill is a well-respected RPA across the medical sector, contributing to the second editions of IPEM Report 75 ‘Design and Shielding of Radiotherapy Facilities’ and of the reference book ‘Practical Radiation Protection in Healthcare’. Her support for her professional body, The Society for Radiological Protection, was recently acknowledged by the awarding of the Founders' Medal.

An Introduction to Proton Beam Therapy Facility Design

Free Webinar, 12:00 - 13:00 (GMT)

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