CBCT enhancement strategies for adaptive ion beam therapy

Host: MedPhoton, Austria.

Planned secondments: LMU (Germany), MedAustron (Austria), UMCG (Groeningen)

Project description

To overcome the issue of interfractional anatomical modifications, state-of-the-art ion therapy facilities are largely adopting the integration of different flavours of X-ray cone-beam CT (CBCT) imaging systems, which allow imaging the patient directly at the isocenter of the treatment unit. In particular, medPhoton has developed and is constantly improving a prototype CBCT system currently adopted in several ion beam therapy facilities. However, CBCT typically suffers from reduced image quality due to scattering and several other shortcomings. Hence, while the quality of CBCT images is deemed sufficient for the task of patient positioning, it is not yet suitable for accurate dosimetric calculations for adaptive therapy.

The first task of the PhD candidate will be to further extend and integrate existing computational frameworks to enable thorough investigations on the potential enhancement strategies of CBCT at the projection and image level with the advanced imaging ring prototype being developed at medPhoton. To this end, he/she will be working on in-silico and real DE-CBCT data of clinical cases and phantoms of increasing complexity, respectively. The study will be especially focused on those clinical entities for which interfractional anatomical modifications and inaccurate SPR represent a major limitation to full clinical exploitation of ion beam therapy. Validation of image registration strategies on a case-specific basis as well as overall validation of the new imaging performance against accessible ground truth data (both in terms of anatomical fidelity and SPR values) will be also performed, in order to facilitate clinical utilization of the developed methods.

Finally, a systematic evaluation of the optimal solutions for realistic clinical indications, resulting in the recommendation for future development paths in isocentric ion therapy image guidance will be performed. The result of the project could thus have great relevance by motivating a paradigm shift in CBCT image guidance in ion therapy, with an expected improvement of treatment quality, which could ultimately positively impact treatment outcome and become a cornerstone of the RAPTOR workflow.

The candidate will be employed at the MedPhoton company (Austria) and will have the opportunity to complete a PhD in Physics or Informatics at the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, supervised by Prof Katia Parodi. The MedPhoton company develops, manufactures, distributes and maintains certified medical devices in the field of image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). Main product is a (CB)CT solution for (adaptive) particle therapy, that can either be integrated with robotic patient positioning systems, rail mounted or stationary installed in treatment rooms.

For more information concerning the research project please contact: Andreas Schippani

Saba Hussain

Early-Stage Researcher at MedPhoton

I am Saba Hussain, from Pakistan, and currently working as an early-stage researcher at medPhoton, Salzburg, Austria, under the supervision of Dr Phil Steininger and registered as a PhD candidate at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Munich, Germany, under the co-supervision of Prof. Dr Katia Parodi. I have done Advanced Master in Medical Physics from Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy. I like to spend my time doing outdoor activities i.e. cycling and hiking. My hobbies help me to stay focused and to connect with my inner self.

I am working on the project of CBCT enhancement strategies for adaptive ion beam therapy. We will use CBCT for particle dose calculations and generate adapted plans that consider the most up-to-date patient geometry, and we are also planning to develop a CBCT-based synthetic CT generation suitable for particle dose calculation. We also hope to provide acquisition and correction techniques to enable particle adaptive treatment planning with (CB)CT developments for (vertical) scans.

An Interdisciplinary research group is an excellent approach for advanced medical research. The Raptor project combines mentored research and well-equipped facilities and gives better opportunity to use my abilities to achieve collective goals. The offered program fulfills my passion for both research and clinical interest and the opportunity to share experience and knowledge with well-reputed institutes and well-known industry Professionals.


Project: CBCT enhancement strategies for adaptive ion beam therapy

MedPhoton, a Salzburg based company founded in 2012 as spin-off from radART institute of Paracelsus Medical University and the University Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radio-Oncology, develops & manufactures robotic imaging solutions for image guided radiation therapy & navigated surgery.”