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Information Technology in conformal radiotherapy


To provide health professionals working in radiotherapy with radically new tools for the planning, delivery and post-treatment assessment of radiotherapy, in an environment where patient movement is taken into account.
To investigate the use of neural networks as a method for the enhancement of megavoltage images.
To develop modelling methods for the 3D representation of treatment volumes.

The INFOCUS proposal is the result of three years of consultation with the user community. We seek to reach the objective above via a workplan consisting of five interrelated workpackages. These are:

The development of a high speed robust optical sensor capable of measuring in excess of 10,000 points per second on the exterior surface of the patient. This would be used both during patient set-up and during therapy itself. The latter offers the ability to log patient exterior movement during treatment.

The investigation of a tool for the restoration/enhancement of megavoltage images captured during treatment. These images, though of poor quality, are the only current source of information regarding the position of the patient's internal anatomy during treatment. Their restoration will increase their value to the clinician and have a further important consequence in connection with the next workpackage.

Restored megavoltage images offer the possibility to construct 3D surface/volume models of the actual treatment site. This is workpackage 3 in INFOCUS.

All of the above is brought together in a workpackage devoted to the planning and assessment of conformal radiotherapy. Amongst other things this will develop new dosimetric calculation techniques based on real geometries (workpackage 3), and time-lapsed true patient position (workpackages 1 & 2). For the first time clinicians will be able to close the radiotherapy feedback loop, i.e. prescribe a treatment course, review what was delivered and amend if desired.

The final workpackage involves software quality control. This will be important if the results are to taken up and used by the radiotherapy community.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Liverpool John Moores University
Byrom Street
L3 3AF Liverpool
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

Christie Hospital NHS Trust
United Kingdom
Wilmslow Road Didsbury
M20 4BX Manchester
Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique
17,Rue Des Martyrs
38054 Grenoble
Foundation for Technical and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Instituteof Technology
7,Sem Saelandsvei 7
7034 Trondheim
Philips Electronics UK Ltd
United Kingdom
Fleming Way
RH10 2RR Crawley
Technische Universität "Otto von Guericke" Magdeburg
39106 Magdeburg
Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
43,Boulevard Du 11 Novembre 1919
69622 Villeurbanne Cedex