Medical treatments benefit from the contribution of accelerator physics and engineering

July 07, 2015

History has shown that energetic particles can be useful for medical applications. From the time, in 1895 when Roentgen discovered X-rays, and in 1913 when Coolidge developed the vacuum X-ray tube, energetic particles have been an important tool for medicine. Development of the appropriate tool for effective and safe radiotherapy requires an in-depth understanding of the application and constraints. Various solutions are possible and choices must be analyzed on the basis of the suitability for meeting the requirements.

How can a particle accelerator help to cure cancer? What are the properties of these accelerators that can perform such a feat? What is a particle accelerator? Jacob Flanz, Ph.D. with decades of experience in the field of particle accelerators and medical physics explains the links between these two seemingly disparate fields and explains how accelerators are used for cancer treatment. A significant amount of work is being invested into the development of smaller and lower cost machines to reduce the costs of treatment and enhance the curative capabilities.
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The paper can be found in the latest issue of Modern Physics Letters A, Vol. 30, No. 17 at http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/S0217732315400209.

World Scientific

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