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Hadron therapy refers to a medical treatment that uses hadron beams (i.e. protons and ions) to deliver localized energy that suppresses cancerous cells, sparing the neighboring healthy tissues from unwanted radiation. The major technical components of a hadron therapy center are the particle accelerator and the beam delivery system that controls, shapes, and orients the particles towards the area to be treated. The beam delivery can consist of fixed transfer lines, or it can include a gantry, a transfer line that rotates around the patient and allows radiation from multiple directions.
During my Ph.D., I investigated a novel toroidal configuration for hadron therapy gantries, named GaToroid.
In the first part, I focused on the optimization of the toroidal magnet. Starting from an analytical approximation of the magnetic field, I developed an optimization algorithm to maximize the energy acceptance of the gantry; such computation is based on two-dimensional particle tracking integrated with magnetic field calculations.
In the second part of my Ph.D., I used a three-dimensional particle-tracking code to evaluate the beam optics properties of a GaToroid system.
After performing electrical and mechanical studies to establish the feasibility of the system, I finally used the results to design a single-coil demonstrator in HTS scaled-down by a factor of three.
Large acceptance, steady-state configuration, and superconducting magnets offer an interesting reduction of size, weight, and cost of gantries and related infrastructures, creating an attractive alternative to the state-of-the-art.