GSI - Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research
R&D into software solutions for a next generation dose delivery system
Though scanned ion beams permit highly conformal treatment, and have been shown to be successful in treatment of several tumor sites, transferring this success to the mobile tumors of the thorax and abdomen has been challenging. Interference of target and beam motion as well as the changing beam range to the moving target pose challenges to exact dose delivery. Advanced stage lung cancer but also hepatic or pancreatic cancer patients could benefit tremendously from particle therapy. Within this project, a next generation dose delivery system will be developed, specifically aiming at the treatment of moving tumors but also non-cancer targets of the upper body. Besides faster beam delivery, it will integrate both motion detection and mitigation methods in its core functionality. The Fellow will design and implement an advanced motion mitigation strategy, where the dose delivery is synchronized to the target motion to achieve a safe and conformal treatment. In this fashion, prior knowledge of the patient anatomy and tumor motion can be incorporated in treatment plan optimization to generate a whole library of plans for possible different motion states, achieving optimal tissue sparing and conformal dose coverage. Experimental validation with sophisticated moving phantoms will show the efficacy of the strategy and conclude the project.