Proposed method for internal electron therapy based on high-intensity laser acceleration

Michal Tepper*, Uri Barkai, Israel Gannot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiotherapy is one of the main methods to treat cancer. However, due to the propagation pattern of high-energy photons in tissue and their inability to discriminate between healthy and malignant tissues, healthy tissues may also be damaged, causing undesired side effects. A possible method for internal electron therapy, based on laser acceleration of electrons inside the patient's body, is suggested. In this method, an optical waveguide, optimized for high intensities, is used to transmit the laser radiation and accelerate electrons toward the tumor. The radiation profile can be manipulated in order to create a patient-specific radiation treatment profile by changing the laser characteristics. The propagation pattern of electrons in tissues minimizes the side effects caused to healthy tissues. A simulation was developed to demonstrate the use of this method, calculating the trajectories of the accelerated electron as a function of laser properties. The simulation was validated by comparison to theory, showing a good fit for laser intensities of up to 2 × 1020 (W/cm2), and was then used to calculate suggested treatment profiles for two tumor test cases (with and without penetration to the tumor). The results show that treatment profiles can be designed to cover tumor area with minimal damage to adjacent tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051041
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • electron therapy
  • laser based acceleration
  • patient-specific treatment
  • simulation


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