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August 2013: SPARTA - Intelligent Software for Patient-Friendly Radiation Therapy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 2013: SPARTA - Intelligent Software for Patient-Friendly Radiation Therapy

In radiation therapy, malignant tumors are treated with radiation while sparing healthy organs. It is an essential treatment method used for the majority of cancer patients.

During the course of the treatment, which is applied daily over several weeks, changes in the size of the tumor, the patient's body weight, and the body's movement while breathing, can affect the tumor's position. This can lead to a partial tumor miss during treatment. To decrease the risk of missing parts of the tumor, large safety margins surrounding the mutated cells are often included in the region targeted for irradiation. As an unintended consequence, healthy tissue is also damaged.

The expandable radiotherapy software system (SPARTA) addresses this problem. With an accurate measuring of variations, a precise calculation of the delivered dose, a detailed analysis of the tumor, and an adequately adapted treatment plan, variations of the patient's body are taken into account. In so doing, the researchers aim to increase the safety and effectiveness of radiation therapy for patients.

The project partners, Fraunhofer MEVIS, German Cancer Research Center DKFZ, Fraunhofer ITWM, University Hospital Heidelberg, University Hospital LMU M√ľnchen, OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology Dresden, Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center, Siemens AG, MeVis Medical Solutions AG, and Precisis AG, are partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

For more information, click here.

Source: Fraunhofer MEVIS

Image: OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research and Oncology, Dresden