First demonstration of real-time gamma imaging by using a handheld Compton camera for particle therapy

T. Taya*, J. Kataoka, A. Kishimoto, Y. Iwamoto, A. Koide, T. Nishio, S. Kabuki, T. Inaniwa

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    The use of real-time gamma imaging for cancer treatment in particle therapy is expected to improve the accuracy of the treatment beam delivery. In this study, we demonstrated the imaging of gamma rays generated by the nuclear interactions during proton irradiation, using a handheld Compton camera (14 cm×15 cm×16 cm, 2.5 kg) based on scintillation detectors. The angular resolution of this Compton camera is ∼8° at full width at half maximum (FWHM) for a137Cs source. We measured the energy spectra of the gamma rays using a LaBr3(Ce) scintillator and photomultiplier tube, and using the handheld Compton camera, performed image reconstruction when using a 70 MeV proton beam to irradiate a water, Ca(OH)2, and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom. In the energy spectra of all three phantoms, we found an obvious peak at 511 keV, which was derived from annihilation gamma rays, and in the energy spectrum of the PMMA phantom, we found another peak at 718 keV, which contains some of the prompt gamma rays produced from10B. Therefore, we evaluated the peak positions of the projection from the reconstructed images of the PMMA phantom. The differences between the peak positions and the Bragg peak position calculated using simulation are 7 mm±2 mm and 3 mm±8 mm, respectively. Although we could quickly acquire online gamma imaging of both of the energy ranges during proton irradiation, we cannot arrive at a clear conclusion that prompt gamma rays sufficiently trace the Bragg peak from these results because of the uncertainty given by the spatial resolution of the Compton camera. We will develop a high-resolution Compton camera in the near future for further study.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-361
    Number of pages7
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 21


    • Compton camera
    • Particle therapy
    • Prompt gamma rays

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Instrumentation


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