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Ledingham, Ken W. D.; Bolton, Paul R.; Shikazono, Naoya; Ma, C. -M. Charlie (September 2014): Towards Laser Driven Hadron Cancer Radiotherapy: A Review of Progress. In: Applied Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 3: pp. 402-443




It has been known for about sixty years that proton and heavy ion therapy is a very powerful radiation procedure for treating tumors. It has an innate ability to irradiate tumors with greater doses and spatial selectivity compared with electron and photon therapy and, hence, is a tissue sparing procedure. For more than twenty years, powerful lasers have generated high energy beams of protons and heavy ions and it has, therefore, frequently been speculated that lasers could be used as an alternative to radiofrequency (RF) accelerators to produce the particle beams necessary for cancer therapy. The present paper reviews the progress made towards laser driven hadron cancer therapy and what has still to be accomplished to realize its inherent enormous potential.