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Image-guided protontherapy

Medical Imaging

December 2015 - January 2025

Proton radiotherapy (PR) is a type of radiation treatment that uses protons. Compared to the conventional x-ray based radiation treatments, PR has the quality of better sparing healthy tissue. However, unlike x-rays, protons are highly sensitive to local changes in the tissue with which they interact. These changes may due to the patient's gain in weight, errors in the patient setup, or continuous tumor motion, for example due to respiration. Current solution to this problem is to enlarge the volume to be irradiated so as to ensure complete coverage of the tumor. The drawback to this approach is that too much healthy tissue ends up being irradiated.


In our lab, we develop techniques to process proton range data, collected during or after a treatment session, in order to incorporate day-to-day changes in the patient’s anatomy as well as the errors in the patient setup.

We are also developing methods of online tumor tracking in order to spare as much healthy tissue as possible. One of our approaches is to take intensity-modulated x-ray images at specific times during a proton treatment session. Another approach we are investigating is to use continuous MRI 2D slices acquisitions to track real-time anatomical motion to adapt patient treatment.