Better Targets Therapeutic Radiation Exposure by Tracking Non-Invasive Markers in Real-Time
This multipurpose optical tracking system potentially improves the safety and accuracy of advanced radiotherapy. The global radiotherapy market will have a value of $8.1 billion by 2019. Radiotherapy uses high-energy particles emitted from a linear accelerator to destroy tumors. To reap the benefit of high-precision radiotherapy, the patient has to be precisely positioned or healthy tissue is at risk and tumors are not targeted. Optical tracking systems can help guide patient positioning and monitoring; however, existing tracking systems suffer from several limitations (e.g. ambiguous markers and the lack of a seamless clinical workflow). University of Florida researchers have developed a non-invasive, marker-based optical tracking system with a streamlined workflow that improves marker target precision. This multipurpose optical tracking system may be employed for a host of clinical situations, including various forms of radiotherapy.
Positioning of patients for radiotherapy treatment of cancer
- Streamlines radiotherapy workflow with repeatable steps, potentially reducing risk of human error and increasing patient safety
- Minimizes marker occlusion and ambiguous markers, and integrates in multiple existing procedures with real-time tracking, enhancing versatility
- Improves resistance to abrupt patient feature changes such as movement and gradual patient feature changes such as hair and weight loss or growth, increasing accuracy
- Enables non-invasive patient interactions, potentially increasing patient comfort
This optical tracking system uses a pair of infrared cameras to track infrared reflective markers to align cancer patients to a designated treatment site. Technicians can place one or more markers directly on a patient’s skin or onto a removable pair of face goggles for intracranial stereotactic radiotherapy. The markers can be preattached to patient immobilization devices such as a face mask or body mold to streamline the workflow. The optical tracking system is seamlessly integrated into the clinical workflow by directly interacting with the software systems controlling the linear accelerator. The integration also enhances the safety of radiotherapy. During treatment, the system tracks patient movement with an accuracy of 0.3 mm.
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