"Quaere et invenies"
Clinical outcome of radiotherapy can potentially be improved by increasing the precision of tumor localization and dose delivery during the treatment. To achieve this goal, various techniques related to image guidance, dynamic targeting and adaptive therapy are being developed.
The simulation research efforts use Monte Carlo simulations to study photon as well as proton beams. Simulations are used for commissioning of beam delivery systems, for quality assurance of clinical beam delivery, as well as for dose calculations to assist in treatment planning. Special projects deal with four-dimensional Monte Carlo simulations and modeling of biological effects of ionizing radiation.
We work on treatment plan optimization to maximize the benefit of the treatment for the patient. Current commercial “inverse” planning systems do not come up with plans that are clinically or mathematically optimal. Our research addresses three critical questions:
- How to deal with the multiple conflicting objectives and inevitable tradeoffs that we face even in advanced IMRT or proton treatments
- How to account for (known) motion of the patient or internal organs in the treatment planning and optimization process (“4D” optimization)
- How to make the treatment plan insensitive against various sources of uncertainty (motion related and otherwise)