NCBJ is building a station generating an ultra-high dose electron beam (FLASH)2023.07.04 14:26 - Marek Pawłowski
At the NCBJ Nuclear Equipment Department, with the participation of the NCBJ Nuclear Equipment and Techniques Department, the accelerator structure for the new FLASH therapy research station was designed and built. The pioneer stand is to use the construction of the AQURE medical accelerator and is ultimately to operate at the WCO in Poznań.
At the National Center for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), the first stand of this type in the world to study the impact of the FLASH beam on cells is being built. The FLASH technology consists in delivering a large dose of ionizing radiation to tumors in a very short time of a fraction of a second. This distinguishes it from conventional radiotherapy techniques where the dose is delivered over a longer period of time. Studies indicate that FLASH therapy can effectively fight cancer while minimizing damage to healthy tissues and organs.
In the Department of Nuclear Equipment of the National Center for Nuclear Research, in cooperation with the Department of Nuclear Equipment and Technologies of the National Center for Nuclear Research, a structure accelerating the electron beam was designed and built. It is the main component of the accelerator - the basic element of the FLASH test stand. The new structure is 1 m long and consists of 18 accelerating cavities. It will be possible to obtain very high dose rates of the FLASH type - several orders of magnitude higher than in the case of ordinary medical accelerators. The use of new electron beam control solutions will allow for programming in a wide range of all parameters of the generated pulse in any configuration. The test bed under construction will enable studies of the effects of FLASH-type beams on cancer cells, which should ultimately help doctors and researchers to develop new, effective therapeutic scenarios.
The entire station is designed on the basis of the AQURE mobile intraoperative accelerator. Thanks to the wide range of movements of the accelerator, it will be possible to place samples in various positions, including horizontal position. The mobility of the accelerator also allows it to be used in different locations. The assumptions for the construction of the structure and the entire station were consulted with scientists from the Wielkopolska Cancer Center, the Military University of Technology and the University of Warsaw in order to meet the expectations of future users as broadly as possible.
"After clinical trials and approval of this technique for the treatment of cancer, NCBJ will have the technology for the production of an intraoperative accelerator intended for clinical applications of FLASH therapy" - explains project leader Jan Trzuskowski.
NCBJ is not the only research center dealing with FLASH therapy. Similar devices and research programs are being developed all over the world - including in the United States, at CERN, in Israel, in France, as well as in companies producing medical accelerators.
At NCBJ, the task is carried out as part of the project "Construction and validation of a station generating an ultra-high dose electron beam (FLASH)" under the competition No. RPWP.01.01.02-IŻ.00-30-001/21 for Measure 1.1 "Support for infrastructure R&D in the science sector” of the Wielkopolska Regional Operational Program for 2014-2020.
The co-financing agreement was signed with the Marshal of the Wielkopolskie Voivodship on 12/05/23. More information on stronie projektu.