Simulation and Modeling of Brain Tumors in Computer-assisted Radiotherapy

A. Zizzari, B. Michaelis, and G. Gademann (Germany)

Keywords

: Medical Imaging, 3-D Reconstruction, TumorModeling, Radiation Therapy.

Abstract

Radiation therapy is, with surgery and chemotherapy, one of the three main modalities for treatment of patients affected by cancer. This treatment usually consists in irradiating the tumor volume, from different directions, with high energy photon beams generated using a linear accelerator. Beam directions are chosen in such a way that the simultaneous radiation damage to the critical organs and healthy tissues is minimized. In the actual radiation therapy planning systems, the target volumes are defined according to the recognized tumor borders on radiographic images. Then, a specific margin is applied considering possible sub-clinical tumor extensions. Here, a new useful method is proposed describing the tumor growth with reference to the anatomical shapes of the patient and to the underlying biological process of tumor diffusion. This information leads to an estimation of the concentration of tumor cells in unvisible sub-clinical extensions, and that leads to a more appropriate definition of the target volumes for irradiation.

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