Hadrontherapy: from the conventional to the laser-driven approach

Charged particle acceleration using ultra-intense and ultra- short laser pulses has gathered a strong interest in the scientific community and it is now one of the most attractive topics in the relativistic laser-plasma interaction research. Indeed, it could represent the future of particle acceleration and open new scenarios in multidisciplinary fields, in particular, medical applications.

One of the biggest challenges consists of using, in a future perspective, high intensity laser-target interaction to generate high-energy ions for therapeutic purposes, eventually replacing the old paradigm of acceleration, characterized by huge and complex machines.

The peculiarities of laser-driven beams led to develop new strategies and advanced techniques for transport, diagnostics and dosimetry of the accelerated particles, due to the wide energy spread, the angular divergence and the extremely intense pulses. In this framework, INFN-LNS (Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics, Catania (I)) in collaboration with ELI-Beamline Institute (Dolny Brezany, CZ) will realize, within 2017 the ELIMED (ELI-Beamlines MEDical and multidisciplinary applications) beamline.

ELIMED will be the first Users’ addressed transport beamline dedicated to the medical and multidisciplinary studies with laser-accelerated ion beams and completely open to the scientific community wishing to perform experiments with these new beams.

The beamline will permit in-air irradiations of controlled laser-driven ion beams to perform typical multidisciplinary experiments, from biological irradiations to detector tests and general samples irradiation.

In this paper, a progress status of the beamline with its main transport, diagnostic and dosimetric elements, will be presented.