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 Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>