Spatially fractionated proton minibeams.

Juergen Meyer, John Eley, Thomas E Schmid, Stephanie E Combs, Remi Dendale, Yolanda Prezado (2018 Oct 26) The British journal of radiology : 20180466 : DOI : 10.1259/bjr.20180466

Extraordinary normal tissue response to highly spatially fractionated X-ray beams has been explored for over 25 years. More recently, alternative radiation sources have been developed and utilized with the aim to evoke comparable effects. These include protons, which lend themselves well for this endeavour due to their physical depth dose characteristics as well as corresponding variable biological effectiveness. This paper addresses the motivation for using protons to generate spatially fractionated beams and reviews the technological implementations and experimental results to date. This includes simulation and feasibility studies, collimation and beam characteristics, dosimetry and biological considerations as well as the results of in vivo and in vitro studies. Experimental results are emerging indicating an extraordinary normal tissue sparing effect analogous to what has been observed for synchrotron generated X-ray microbeams. The potential for translational research and feasibility of spatially modulated proton beams in clinical settings is discussed.