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Abstract: Hadrontherapy is a novel technique of cancer radiation therapy which employsbeams of charged hadrons, protons and carbon ions in particular. Due to theirphysical and radiobiological properties, they allow one to obtain a moreconformal treatment with respect to photons used in conventional radiationtherapy, sparing better the healthy tissues located in proximity of the tumourand allowing a higher control of the disease. Hadrontherapy is the directapplication of research in high energy physics, making use of specificallyconceived particle accelerators and detectors. Protons can be considered todaya very important tool in clinical practice due to the several hospital-basedcentres in operation and to the continuously increasing number of facilitiesproposed worldwide. Very promising results have been obtained with carbon ionbeams, especially in the treatment of specific radio resistant tumours. Tooptimize the use of charged hadron beams in cancer therapy, a continuoustechnological challenge is leading to the conception and to the development ofinnovative methods and instruments. The present status of hadrontherapy isreviewed together with the future scientific and technological perspectives ofthis discipline.

Autor: Saverio Braccini


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