Compensating for Tumour Motion during Treatment

One of the main techniques for treating cancer patients is irradiation. In this technique cancerous cells are exposed to high radiation over a period of time in order to destroy the cells. However, radiation cancer treatment can be a two way sword because radiation kills not only the cancerous cells but also healthy cells. This may result in damage to internal organs and often causes complications after the treatment.

Radiating the whole tumour is critical to the success of the treatment. In contrast to the skeleton, where the geometry and relative position of each part of the skeleton does not change over time, internal organs and tumours often change position in between treatment and during treatment. For example, the prostate can move ?1cm between treatment and possibly during treatment as a result of breathing (CHECK IT!!!!). The problem can be more acute in lung cancer where the tumour can continuously move during the respiratory cycle.

DTI is working on a technology by which tumour can be identified and tracked during treatment. This enables the system to determine the quality of treatment by comparing the prescribed treatment plan and the actual treatment. This process identification technique opens the door to a number of options such as real-time radiation gating, real-time modification of the treatment plan.

Include white paper, and images and system.

Figure 1: Tracing of the tumour motion. Tumour motions (at different time intervals are shown in green and red) and the tumour motion coverage is shown in blue