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Research overview

Professor Uwe Oelfke, Radiotherapy Physics Modelling team

The Radiotherapy Physics Modelling team aims to improve the accuracy of the Radiotherapy process by investigating the uncertainties involved in the different steps throughout the treatment chain, starting at the imaging stage right through to the actual delivery process.

One important step is the better integration of multi-modality imaging into the treatment planning process not only for the target delineation process but also for monitoring tumour response. We aim to quantify these effects by modelling the tumour response to radiation within preclinical systems as well as for patients treated within clinical trials. Using functional images like PET or fMRI during the treatment planning process will help us to reduce the uncertainties involved within the definition of the tumour volume.

Modelling the biological uncertainties within the treatment planning system enables us to create treatment plans which are not only robust with respect to tumour motion but also to the biological input parameters. Some of these techniques are based on our ultra-fast treatment planning framework which we developed as an important step towards fully automated treatment planning as well as interactive real-time adaptation of treatment plans to the current anatomical situation.

In addition to adaptive and image guided treatment planning we are also actively developing methods to reduce the geometric uncertainties present during the delivery of radiation therapy by implementing active motion mitigation technics like gating or multi-leaf collimator tracking methods.

We are also investigating the physical and biological properties of the application of alternative treatment techniques like Micro-beam irradiation or particle therapy in combination with the existing treatment methods.

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