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Hybrid System: MRI with integrated Radiation Therapy Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000138645D
Original Publication Date: 2006-Aug-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2006-Aug-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 203K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

In cancer therapy a development of radiation therapy of tumors and metastases has been taking place since decades. In the beginning, the radiation treatments were carried out with radioactive sources. Since several years, linear accelerators have been established for the radiation therapy, which exploit the effect of bremsstrahlung of accelerated electrons. Still, there are high voltage radiotherapy devices for the treatment of less dangerous cancers. A good diagnostic device to identify tumors and metastases is a PET (Positron Emission Tomography). PET has been developed in nuclear medicine since years. Quantities of radioactively loaded substances (tracer) are injected into the human body to evaluate the metabolism by measuring the radioactive radiation. PET is good for functional diagnostics however it does not provide any good anatomical images.

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Hybrid System: MRI with integrated Radiation Therapy Device

Idea: Michael Maschke, DE-Forchheim

In cancer therapy a development of radiation therapy of tumors and metastases has been taking place since decades. In the beginning, the radiation treatments were carried out with radioactive sources. Since several years, linear accelerators have been established for the radiation therapy, which exploit the effect of bremsstrahlung of accelerated electrons. Still, there are high voltage radiotherapy devices for the treatment of less dangerous cancers.

A good diagnostic device to identify tumors and metastases is a PET (Positron Emission Tomography). PET has been developed in nuclear medicine since years. Quantities of radioactively loaded substances (tracer) are injected into the human body to evaluate the metabolism by measuring the radioactive radiation. PET is good for functional diagnostics however it does not provide any good anatomical images.

To get a good anatomical image of the patient, the physician can perform a CT (Computer Tomography) examination and bring the PET and CT together, i.e. overlay them correctly to a common coordinate system, which is called "software based registration". The pre-recorded CT images and the actual PET images provide a good judgment of the tumor and metastases' stage. To avoid the difficulties of the software based registration, the so-called "hardware based registration" has been arising at some modalities. With this so called PET/CT the patient lies on a patient table and passes through the same coordinate system during the examination. The disadvantage of this method lies in the double radiation exposure of the patient by the injected nuclide and by the x-rays of the CT. This could be overcome by new trends in MRI imaging which provide reasonable anatomical imaging and also imaging of the metabolism, which does not use any kind of radiation.

The disadvantage of the known clinical process is that the patient and the MRI images have to be transferred to the radiotherapy system to be registered manually with software based registration in the radiotherapy planning tool. This step can be a cumbersome and sometimes inaccurate process. A possible solution for this has been the hardware based registration as a combination of a linear accelerator and a CT. The patient lies on a table and passes through the same coordinate system during the CT examination and the radiation therapy treatment. This combination provides anatomical images together with the possibility of radio therapy. However, the disadvantage of this solution is the missing functional imaging of the tumor and metastases and the diagnostic imaging with radiation.

Therefore, a combination of a MRI with an integrated Radiation Therapy Device (RTD) would be a favorable solution. To reach this goal it is proposed to build...

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