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CART - Computational Approaches for Automated Radiotherapy

Title: CART - Computational Approaches for Automated Radiotherapy

Principal investigator: Joana Dias

Research team: Humberto Rocha, Maria do Carmos Lopes, Brígida Ferreira, Tiago Ventura

Dates start/end: 10-2016 / 03-2018


Radiotherapy is the most technologically demanding cancer treatment approach, requiring cutting edge high cost technological equipment and trained personnel. The most common radiation therapy equipment is a linear accelerator where the patient lies down, properly immobilized in a movable couch. The prescribed radiation dose treatment is previously planned for each patient. In this project we aim at further develop the work that has already been done regarding the application of computational approaches and optimization algorithms to automated radiotherapy planning. W e have already developed successfully optimization algorithms applied to the beam angle optimization (deciding which the best incidence directions for each radiotherapy treatment are). We have recently developed a fuzzy reasoning approach that allows fully automation of the fluence optimization problem (the problem of determining, for a fixed set of beam angles, what are the best patterns of radiation allowed by the modulation of the radiation beam). In order to develop a fully automated RT multicriteria framework, we will embed the most promising beam angle optimization approaches (namely pattern search approaches) with fuzzy reasoning applied to fluence map optimization considering not one but a set of different objective functions. In reality, radiotherapy treatment planning is a multicriteria problem by nature, since we aim at simultaneously maximize the dose deposited in the volumes to treat and spare all healthy organs. The option for a multicriteria approach will also raise new problems regarding the decision-making process by the medical doctor. We can thus summarize the main goals of the project as follows:

  • Achieve an automated multicriteria approach for radiotherapy planning.
  • Develop procedures to support medical decision making in a multicriteria decision making framework.