Neutron Detection for Cancer Therapy

Cube proposed by: Sara A. Pozzi

Unit: Engineering

About this project: 
Recent advances in nuclear detection capabilities, including new detection materials and readout electronics, promise to have an impact in the development of new cancer therapy treatments. This project relies on neutron and photon detection techniques to develop new instruments and algorithms that will be applied in cancer treatment facilities. The urgent needs in this area include, but are not limited to, neutron dosimetry for proton therapy facilities and the evaluation of the biological damage to cells by neutron irradiation. Proton therapy facilities use high-energy proton beams to destroy cancerous cells. In this approach, secondary radiation is produced due to proton interactions with the body and surrounding materials. This secondary field, which includes both neutrons and photons, must be accurately characterized in order to determine its effect on patients and medical personnel. An interdisciplinary approach, including both simulation and experiments, is required to tackle these complex and urgent challenges.