Frontiers of Optoelectronics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 23–29 | Cite as

Recent advances in photonic dosimeters for medical radiation therapy

  • James Archer
  • Enbang Li
Review Article


Radiation therapy, which uses X-rays to destroy or injure cancer cells, has become one of the most important modalities to treat the primary cancer or advanced cancer. High resolution, water equivalent and passive X-ray dosimeters are highly desirable for developing quality assurance (QA) systems for novel cancer therapy like microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) which is currently under development. Here we present the latest developments of high spatial resolution scintillator based photonic dosimeters, and their applications to clinical external radiation beam therapies: specifically high energy linear accelerator (LINAC) photon beams and low energy synchrotron photon beams. We have developed optical fiber dosimeters with spatial resolutions ranging from 50 to 500 mm and tested them with LINAC beams and synchrotron microbeams. For LINAC beams, the fiberoptic probes were exposed to a 6 MV, 10 cm by 10 cm Xray field and, the beam profiles as well as the depth dose profiles were measured at a source-to-surface distance (SSD) of 100 cm. We have also demonstrated the possibility for temporally separating Cherenkov light from the pulsed LINAC scintillation signals. Using the 50 mm fiber probes, we have successfully resolved the microstructures of the microbeams generated by the imaging and medical beamline (IMBL) at the Australian Synchrotron and measured the peak-to-valley dose ratios (PVDRs). In this paper, we summarize the results we have achieved so far, and discuss the possible solutions to the issues and challenges we have faced, also highlight the future work to further enhance the performances of the photonic dosimeters.


fiber-optic dosimetry scintillators X-ray Cherenkov radiation cancer therapy microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) 


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This project was supported by UOW’s Global Challenges Program. This research was undertaken on the Imaging and Medical beamline at the Australian Synchrotron, Victoria, Australia (AS162/ IMBL/10829). This research has been conducted with the support of the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Medical Radiation PhysicsUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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