Proton minibeams-a springboard for physics, biology and clinical creativity

Br J Radiol. 2020 Mar;93(1107):20190332. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20190332. Epub 2020 Jan 24.


Proton minibeam therapy (PMBT) is a form of spatially fractionated radiotherapy wherein broad beam radiation is replaced with segmented minibeams-either parallel, planar minibeam arrays generated by a multislit collimator or scanned pencil beams that converge laterally at depth to create a uniform dose layer at the tumor. By doing so, the spatial pattern of entrance dose is considerably modified while still maintaining tumor dose and efficacy. Recent studies using computational modeling, phantom experiments, in vitro and in vivo preclinical models, and early clinical feasibility assessments suggest that unique physical and biological attributes of PMBT can be exploited for future clinical benefit. We outline some of the guiding principle of PMBT in this concise overview of this emerging area of preclinical and clinical research inquiry.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption, Radiation
  • Algorithms
  • Creativity*
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Organ Sparing Treatments
  • Organs at Risk
  • Proton Therapy / methods*
  • Radiobiology
  • Radiometry