‘Tumour-Tracking’ to Allow for More Accurate Radiotherapy With Less Side-Effects

How it works:

The study is aiming to develop a more accurate way to track tumours, so treatments can be delivered directly to cancer cells. Currently, radiotherapy treats a single area that is larger than it needs to be, to try and account for any movement.

But if the cancer moves and the beam is static (hitting the same area for each dose), the cancer cells at some point, might not receive the intended radiation. If normal tissues come into the beam line as the cancer moves out of the way, they will be hit by a large radiation dose that was not intended for them.

By tracking tumours at all times and directing the beam at the cancer, the study could offer better outcomes for people with cancer.

Ask the expert:

Dr Doan Trang Nguyen

“High precision therapy uses the multi-modal adaptive tumour tracking (MATT) system to track the cancer at all times during the treatment,”

“The position of the cancer will be sent to a motor control unit that will direct the treatment beam at the current position of the cancer.”

The details:

Dr Nguyen is also supported by an early career fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council to study low-cost, high-precision radiotherapy.

Find out more about Dr Doan Trang Nguyen and her work with the University of Sydney at www.sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/d.nguyen.php

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