Navigation Links
Safer, more accurate radiation therapy for expecting mothers
Date:12/18/2007

Troy, N.Y. Developing fetuses are extremely sensitive to radiation, which poses an impossible dilemma for expecting mothers in need of screening or treatment for cancer. Now researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new set of modeling tools that could enable safer, more accurate, and more effective radiation therapy and nuclear medicine imaging procedures for pregnant women.

Radiation is a doubled-edged sword: It holds the power to cure cancer, but if used improperly it can also cause serious damage to the human body. The situation is even more critical with pregnant females, as any errant radiation could severely harm and impede the growth of the fetus.

The human body is a particular challenge to model because of its wide variety of organs, each with a complex and unique shape, said X. George Xu, professor of nuclear and biomedical engineering at Rensselaer, who is leading the project. Pregnant females are even more difficult to model using current methods, so we took an entirely new approach.

Physicians use advanced computer simulations to determine the correct dose of radiation to administer to patients. These computer simulations are based on sophisticated virtual models of the human body. About 30 of these models, sometimes called phantoms, have been developed worldwide.

The data needed to build such models, however, requires extensive X-rays and computed tomography scans. Since pregnant patients are prohibited from undergoing X-rays or other imaging procedures, there has never been enough data to create an accurate phantom of a pregnant woman.

These new models should be extremely useful for understanding the risks of radiation, and for better planning radiation imaging and treatment for pregnant women, Xu said. The tools we have developed for this research should also open up several new avenues for improving the field of radiation dosimetry.

Conventional methods of phantom creation simply cannot account for the rapid changes of a pregnant womans internal physiology as her organs shift to accommodate the growing fetus. So instead of employing the conventional constructive solid geometry (CSG) tools to construct the computer model, Xu and his team turned to boundary representations (BREP) tools. CSG models are based on building and connecting simple shapes such as spheres, cones, and cylinders to create a larger structure.

BREP is more flexible and features a more robust toolbox for manipulating the surface of model components. BREP is widely used in the manufacturing industry for computer-aided design , and in the entertainment industry to create computer-animated models for movies and video games, Xu said. As it turns out, BREP software is also highly effective for creating medical phantoms consisting of complex organs.

Using this new set of tools, Xu and his team created three 3-D models of pregnant females at various gestational stages: three months, six months, and nine months. The team built the models of the expecting mother and fetus organ by organ, relying on computer-generated mesh models, as well as supplanting the model with data from rare CT scan images of a pregnant patient. The images were taken around 2004 in an upstate New York hospital, in a situation where both the woman and her physician were unaware she was pregnant. The existence of such scans was publicized, and Xu contacted the physician to obtain copies of the scans.

Xu said BREP turned out to be extremely effective for modeling the complex topology of human organs, and he expects the practice to catch on.

We are convinced that it would have been impossible to develop such a complete, consistent, and anatomically realistic set of models from medical images that are hard to come by, Xu said. It is clear that the current trend will continue to involve BREP type of modeling.

The research project, funded by the National Cancer Institute, was presented in the article A boundary-representation method for designing whole-body dosimetry models: pregnant females at the ends of three gestational periods RPI-P3, -P6, and -P9, published in the most recent issue of the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology.

With the models complete, Xu and his team will share their data with other researchers investigating the same topic. Xu said it will likely be about one year before the models are verified and accepted by the medical community, and then integrated into computer software as a new standard for determining and administering radiation therapy to expecting mothers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. M2SYS Partners With Gnosis Medical Services to Provide Accurate Patient Identification in Developing Countries Through Innovative Biometrics Solution
2. Voice Biometrics Gains Traction as Most Accurate and Convenient Technology to Secure Customer Privacy
3. Scripps scientists develop new tests that identify lethal prion strains quickly and accurately
4. A new radiation therapy treatment developed for head and neck cancer patients
5. Intravenous gene therapy protects normal tissue of mice during whole-body radiation
6. Antioxidants could provide all-purpose radiation protection
7. Bug-Zapper: A dose of radiation may help knock out malaria
8. Atomic bomb survivor, scientists mark 60 years of long-term radiation study
9. St. Jude finds factors that accelerate resistance to targeted therapy in lymphoblastic leukemia
10. UC health news: molecular pathway may predict chemotherapy effectiveness
11. MIT works toward safer gene therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Safer, more accurate radiation therapy for expecting mothers
(Date:1/27/2016)... 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading semiconductor equipment ... Chester, Ohio announced today the acquisition of PLUS ... in Austin, Texas , will significantly ... modifications, installations and technical support offerings for TEL Track ... commented, "PLUS has provided world class service including refurbishment, ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... --> ... report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology (Bio-Sensors, NLP, ... Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application Areas, End ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion Detection and ... Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 31.9%, ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized ... small to find new ways to ensure data security ... iOS and Android that ties ... biometrics, transforming it into a hardware authorization token. Customer ... swipe their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... attend the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual ... is expecting to fill more than 100 tables for its annual event, which ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... now available on Microsoft Azure. On Azure, Arvados provides capabilities for managing and ... clear demand for Microsoft Azure from major institutions collecting and analyzing genomic data,” ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... With a presidential election in November and the future of ... together over 500 top healthcare leaders for a night and day of debates and ... MBA students of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will be held February 18 ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Clinovo , ... and validated Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system ClinCaptureand its new Contract Research Organization ... Coast 2016 Conference in San Mateo, California on February 10th and 11th. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: