Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DIAMOND — Result In Brief

Project ID: 17573
Funded under: FP6-SME

Setting the stage for enhanced cancer treatment

With cancer affecting millions in Europe each year, lower treatment costs and increased availability are a priority. These can be achieved with advances in radiotherapy techniques.
Setting the stage for enhanced cancer treatment
Radiotherapy is used in about 50 % of cancer treatment cases, with improvements in conformal radiotherapy techniques showing significant success rates. One such technique is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). An obstacle to its wide application, however, is that conventional dosimetry techniques are unable to deliver the high-resolution and high-speed measurements required for its calibration. This results in time-consuming set-up procedures that seriously limit its use for a greater number of patients.

The 'The development of an innovative, accurate, monolithic, CVD diamond array based radiation dosimeter system' (Diamond) project worked to improve the levels of accuracy and performance required by IMRT technology. The EU-funded project used an approach that also considered how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could benefit in opening up a new market as well as meeting its current needs. The three main challenges identified were the development of CVD diamond array detectors and advanced readout electronics, and integration of the system’s main components.

Project partners developed an array of one dimension (1D) size of 50 detectors with a 500-micron resolution capable of being integrated into the readout electronics. Many dosimeter specifications (such as short priming, short rise time and short decay time) were met, and more than 100 dosimeter structures were fabricated and tested. The latter accomplishment reflects increased fabrication and characterisation efforts by team members after having developed basic device fabrication technology.

Major tasks involved validating the development platform, developing a suitable quality of CVD diamond, optimising electrical contacts, realising general device structure and studying of post-growth treatment.

Electronics activities also constituted a major task, with positive progress having been made in this area. Diamond members developed a new analogue front-end X-ray microchip for handling the signal conditioning system function for the CVD diamond array readout system (DAS). Also, essential units for the system were developed and integrated, and initial tests were carried out.

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