Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improving Radiation Therapy Efficiency

09.06.2016

Fraunhofer MEVIS has developed new methods for adjusting radiation therapy more effectively during the course of treatment.

Radiation therapy is an established method of cancer treatment. The therapy consists of many treatment sessions and usually lasts for several weeks. During this time, physicians often have to adjust the treatment plan.


Simulated dose distribution of the radiation plan.

By doing so tumors can be treated effectively and tissue surrounding the tumor is spared. Within the scope of the recently completed SPARTA project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen developed several methods for facilitating and accelerating this adjustment.

At the beginning of every radiation therapy, doctors take images with a CT scanner showing the position of the tumor and the surrounding organs. Based on this imagery, they develop a detailed treatment plan. This plan indicates the number of radiation sessions, the radiation dosage, and the body areas to be treated. The goal is to completely destroy the tumor while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.

However, the conditions change during the course of therapy. The tumor shrinks and its form may change. Weight loss may occur and patients do not always assume the same position during radiation sessions. This affects the course of therapy. In many cases, the initial distribution of the X-ray dose is no longer optimal and must be adjusted.

To ensure that tumors are targeted as well as possible in later sessions, doctors take CT control images. These images help determine whether the tumor has shifted in the body due to weight loss. In such cases, sensitive organs can be accidentally damaged by moving into the radiation path.

To prevent such complications, doctors compare the original CT images with the control images and adjust the radiation plan to the new situation. This replanning can become very complex and time-consuming. Within the scope of the SPARTA project, Fraunhofer MEVIS developed several software tools for accelerating and simplifying this procedure. The experts worked closely with doctors from renowned university clinics to make the tools as intuitive as possible.

Image registration: MEVIS researchers developed algorithms that automatically align different images of the same patient. The program corrects the different positions patients assume during radiation sessions. It also distorts and shifts the images, if necessary, to align the structures. This eases determining how an ulcer changes during the course of therapy. With the University Clinic in Dresden, MEVIS experts further developed and evaluated an algorithm to register lung images. It displays the lung precisely in different breathing phases.

Recontouring: To plan radiation therapy, physicians contour the organs and the tumor as precisely as possible and plot their shapes. The computer gives suggestions on how the contours should look, but in practice, doctors need to adjust and correct these suggestions in a time-consuming process. MEVIS researchers created a tool to accelerate this process.

The tool transfers the contours of the initial therapy plan to the current situation using the image registration results of the current CT image. Inaccurate contours ‘snap’ quickly into place with help of a snapping tool. A contour propagation method for head and neck data was tested in cooperation with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. The results show that doctors needed only half as much time for post-processing.

Visualization: Which alternative radiation plans are optimal? Is the initial therapy plan still accurate? Should it be readjusted? Experts in Bremen created special tools for visualization to help doctors answer these questions. The tools show the uncertainty that arises from patient motion during sessions across several weeks of therapy. 3D depictions show a series of images. The bigger the movements during irradiation, the blurrier the images compared to the reference. Such illustrations could help decide if the radiation plan should be readjusted or not.

The researchers combined these and other software components into a demonstrator. The separate elements can be relatively easily integrated into existing medical devices. Fraunhofer MEVIS is already in discussion with commercial partners.

SPARTA stands for “Software Platform for Adaptive Multimodal Radio and Particle Therapy with Autarkic Extendibility”. The interdisciplinary joint project started on April 1, 2013 and ended on March 31, 2016. The consortium encompasses ten partners, including research institutes, medical technology companies, and university clinics. SPARTA received a funding of around eight million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). For further information: www.projekt-sparta.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.mevis.fraunhofer.de/en/news/press-release/article/effizientere-strahl...

Bianka Hofmann | Fraunhofer MEVIS - Institut für Bildgestützte Medizin

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing -- with qudits
17.07.2019 | Purdue University

nachricht New DFG Research Group "Metrology for THz Communications"
17.07.2019 | Technische Universität Braunschweig

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat flow through single molecules detected

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>