Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The radiation therapy of the future adjusts itself to the patient

10.02.2015

Together with physicians, other research groups, and industry partners, Fraunhofer MEVIS is developing software to optimize radiation therapy. The fifth clinical workshop to evaluate this software took place in Bremen on February 5 and 6.

Radiation therapy for cancer therapy usually lasts for several weeks. During this time, the situation of the patient changes often: bodyweight decreases, causing the tumor to shrink or change shape. As a result, the distribution of the radiation dose set at the beginning of the therapy is no longer optimal. In the worst case, the radiation can no longer fully hit the tumor, causing part of the radiation to reach and damage healthy tissue.


In the clinical workshops, scientists from Fraunhofer MEVIS are working together with physicians on the workflow and user experience of the joint radiation therapy software.

Fraunhofer MEVIS

To avoid such a scenario, doctors have to adjust the direction and dose of the radiation according to current conditions. Until now, this replanning has been a costly and time-consuming procedure. The software developed in the BMBF-funded (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) SPARTA project aims at accelerating this process, thus offering cheaper therapy progress.

Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS has contributed fast and accurate method of transferring the original planning situation to the current patient condition. To make the program as practical as possible, the experts from SPARTA work closely with doctors from renowned cancer clinics.

At the beginning of every radiation therapy, doctors develop a detailed treatment plan based on CT imagery. This plan indicates the body areas that must be irradiated, as well as how often and with what dosage they must be treated. The goal is to completely destroy the tumor while sparing nearby tissue as much as possible. However, this cannot be achieved with a single radiation session. Patients might undergo daily therapy for a month to successfully fight the cancer.

“To ensure that the tumor is targeted as planned, doctors take routine control images of the patient,” explains MEVIS researcher Stefan Wirtz. “That way, they can also recognize whether the patient is lying accurately in the device.” Likewise, these control images help determine whether the tumor has shifted in the body due to a patient´s weight loss over the course of therapy. In such cases, healthy body areas can be accidentally damaged by moving into the radiation path. “When treating tumors in the oral and pharyngeal cavity, the salivary gland sometimes shifts into the radiation area and can become damaged,” says Wirtz’ colleague Stefan Kraß.

To avoid this and to adjust the radiation optimally, doctors must compare the original planning images with the most recent control images. “Often, the doctor must view old and new images and compare them mentally,” Stefan Wirtz explains. “However, our software can align both of them in a single image and transfer the contours of the radiation area.” As a result, doctors can quickly recognize whether the original contours still apply to the current situation. If not, the contours can easily be adjusted with the software tools. “Until now, replanning radiation therapy could take several hours,” says Stefan Kraß. “Our software can accelerate the process considerably.”

To make the software user-friendly, MEVIS experts exchange ideas with radiation therapists several times a year and discuss progress during joint workshops. Is the program easy to operate? Do the algorithms deliver the proper results? Are the software tools as practical as the clinicians desire? “The doctors participate regularly,” emphasizes Wirtz. “This assures that our software will satisfy the demands of the clinical routine.”

One of SPARTA´s clinical project partners, the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, has already implemented the program for research purposes to evaluate its benefits. “In the current version, the quick contour transfer generates very good re-contouring suggestions. The software will surely find its application in adaptive head and neck radiation therapy,” says LMU doctor Reinoud Nijhuis.

“When the project ends in March 2016, we want to present software that is by and large ready for practical use,” says Stefan Kraß, “and the software maturity achieved through close clinical collaboration might motivate the industry to want to market these results and address the necessary certification.”

The SPARTA project (Software Platform for Adaptive Multimodal Radio and Particle Therapy with Autarkic Extendibility) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It started on April 1, 2013 and will run for three years. The consortium encompasses ten partners, including research institutes, medical technology companies, and university clinics.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.mevis.fraunhofer.de/en/news/press-release/article/the-radiation-thera...
http://www.projekt-sparta.de

Dr. Guido Prause | Fraunhofer MEVIS - Institut für Bildgestützte Medizin

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cancer cells make blood vessels drug resistant during chemotherapy
02.07.2020 | Hokkaido University

nachricht Novel potassium channel activator which acts as a potential anticonvulsant discovered
02.07.2020 | The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of 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: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>