The aim of the project „The Bronowice Cyclotron Centre – Gantry facility” was further development of CCB through the installation of a rotating arm (gantry), which enables directing a monoenergetic beam of protons of several mm diameter in a full range of irradiation angles around the chosen horizontal axis (so called isocenter axis).
Gantry is a set of magnets deviating a beam in ion-guide, placed on a mechanically stiff, rotating steel frame. Gantry mechanical manufacturing accuracy is high because maximum isocenter axis deviation in the whole angle range (together over 360 degrees, that means with partial range overlapping) is below 1 mm.
Gantry facility built at the Cyclotron Centre Bronowice is equipped with a scanning beam nozzle. Unlike heads using a passive scattering technique, applied until now, a scanning beam nozzle enables maximal exploitation of conformal features of a proton beam without necessity of using additional instruments such as collimators and compensators. Scanning technique is opening a new chapter in radiotherapy of movable organs (e.g. lungs) by enabling monitoring of their movements at any time (e.g. at a breathing phase).
The installation of gantry enables using full technical possibilities of the Proteus C-235 cyclotron, in particular a broad range of protons in water (over 30 cm) and a possibility of fast energy change, which together with a scanning beam and its leading at any angle, significantly broaden research, therapeutic and training possibilities of the new centre.
Gantry facility finds application mainly in radiotherapy of central nervous system tumours located next to critical organs as well as in pediatric patients treatment and, in the future, in irradiation of tumours located in the vicinity of movable organs.
At the same time the facility can serve to develop new irradiation techniques, modern scanning beam dosimetry methods as well as to develop therapy planning systems.
The Cyclotron Centre Bronowice can also be used as an education and training centre for medical personnel (including radiotherapy specialists, physicists and medical technicians) as well as for technical personnel for future proton radiotherapy centres in Poland and East-Central Europe.
Access to a scanning proton beam enables active participation of Polish teams in currently developed research trends worldwide, such as 2- and 3-dimensional clinical dosimetry, development and verification of treatment planning systems for scanning proton beams, methods of obtaining high beam conformalisation in so called 4-D radiotherapy etc. Gantry facility enables not only conducting the innovative radiotherapy for the selected group of patients but also trainings for medical physicists, radiotherapy specialists as well for biomedical and accelerator engineers for future ion radiotherapy centres in Poland.
Such advanced gantry facilities have only recently been applied in a few centres in the US, Japan, Germany and Switzerland. The installation of this equipment gives us possibility of being among world leading centres applying and developing this experimental and radiotherapy technique.