Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sensors, a smart dose of medicine for cancer treatment

03.11.2005


New sensor systems being developed will help treat cancer and improve the accuracy and reliability of existing radiation treatments. They should help improve patient care and outcomes. The results will go straight to commercialisation when finalised next year.



The INVORAD project developed systems for real-time radiation monitoring for patient dosimetry in Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT). IMRT is a radiation therapy for cancers that improves clinical outcomes by more accurately targeting tumours and minimising the amount of radiation absorbed by healthy tissue.

The result is that patients only receive a high radiation dose where they need it and healthy tissue is preserved.


The problem with IMRT so far, however, is that it becomes increasingly difficult to verify that patients receive the prescribed dose of radiation. "IMRT prescriptions are based on very complex computer simulations, so it is important to validate these simulations by verifying exactly how much radiation is reaching the patient and where it is landing," says Aleksandar Jaksic, INVORAD project coordinator at Ireland’s Tyndall National Institute.

INVORAD developed two sensors, a silicon diode and a p-channel metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), to do just that. "Several features, such as miniature size, response to types of radiation involved in radiotherapy, compatibility with microprocessors that enables real-time read-out and low cost, make these semiconductor sensors eminently suitable for the intended application," says Jaksic.

The diode sensor system is arranged in a series of modules containing 1069 individual diodes that can pick up incoming radiation.

"These diodes need to be very small and while there are commercial packaged diodes out there we needed diodes in bare die form with some novel properties so we developed the diodes ourselves, here at the Tyndall Institute," says Jaksic.

The arrays are extremely accurate and can track radiation at micro-Gray resolution over millimetres of spatial resolution.

These are then linked to a read-out unit and a PC with dedicated software. The read-out unit is based on ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) and microprocessor technologies, and its function is to communicate with, and retrieve data from, the sensor arrays. The PC and software provide system control, connectivity to other parts of an overall radiotherapy system, such as record and verify packages, and patient-specific data storage.

INVORAD also developed a cylindrical ’body phantom’. The ’phantom’ is given the prescribed dose and the diode sensors pick up the dose actually delivered. "The two modular 2D diode arrays are placed in orthogonal positions inside the phantom, so we have data in 3D over time," says Jaksic.

If the ’phantom’ treatment matches the prescription of the simulator, the patient is given treatment. If not, the treatment plan needs to be corrected. "We created modifications on the diodes and diode arrays, improving their specifications for this project. In fact, every element of the project we worked on received some sort of improvement on current systems," says Jaksic.

Some types of MOSFETs can also detect radiation. In the INVORAD MOSFET-based system these are used in-vivo, mounted in medical catheters in the form of linear arrays, entering the patient through a cavity.

"We’re currently testing that device in patients with our clinical partner, the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, one of the largest oncology centres in the UK. Of the two devices, the diode system is the most commercially viable. However, the MOSFET system is working and we’ll have the results of patients trials in the next few months," says Jaksic.

"We need to further optimise some parameters of the diode sensor system, but from the work we’ve done so far we know how to solve these remaining issues." Jaksic believes it is worth the wait. "Unlike most projects, this device will go straight to market and our commercial partner, ScandiDos in Uppsala, Sweden, is a start-up created for the manufacture and marketing of the device."

Jaksic is particularly pleased because the new sensor systems will improve treatment verification for a large number of cancer patients.

"The prevailing opinion is that IMRT improves treatment outcomes," says Jaksic. "Crucially, IMRT reduces the side-effects patients often suffer from radiotherapy and improves accuracy of dose delivery, and these are the most important impacts in the treatment of cancer."

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>