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Revolutionising patient setup in cancer treatment

Using Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT)

Cancer treatment can be a painstaking and difficult procedure to undergo given the complexity in the treatment process. The weight of a cancer diagnosis carries a huge mental and physical burden on the patient. It is therefore important to place emphasis on delivering an efficient and streamlined process whilst at the same time not cutting any corners. Manual methods of delivering care can and should be automated by AI and technology where possible.


This is especially applicable in the preparation of delivering a dose of radiotherapy treatment where traditionally, breast cancer patients will undergo a tattoo setup which provides physical guidance on area at which the dose should be delivered. Patients suffer not only by the knowledge of the disease, but they are also marked with reminders of the experience by an increasingly outdated positioning technique.


Innovation in radiotherapy treatment allows for a more ethical and streamlined solution. Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) treatments provide a means for tracking a patient's position before and during radiation therapy, to help ensure a streamlined workflow for accurate treatment delivery. This type of treatment not only eliminates the need for an invasive tattoo setup but also provides a faster and more accurate way to deliver radiation doses to the patient. For example, precise measurements made by the software will ensure that radiation is delivered specifically to the targeted area and not the surrounding tissue. With a regular tattoo setup, this can be a common issue as patient movement, often triggered by respiration, can alter the accuracy of the tattoo markup, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the radiation treatment.


The way in which many SGRTs work is through a system of cameras, mounted to the ceiling, which feed data into a software program. Each camera unit uses a projector and image sensors to create a 3D surface model of the area by projecting a red light onto the patient’s skin. (See Figure 2)


This 3D surface model serves as a real-time map of the patient's position and surface contours. By constantly comparing the captured data with the pre-defined treatment plan, any deviations or movements can be detected instantly. If the patient moves beyond a predetermined threshold, the treatment can be paused to ensure accuracy and safety. The use of this cutting-edge technology is an important step in being able to provide some level of comfort for patients in a challenging environment. The integration of such systems represents a significant advancement in patient-centric care in the field of radiation therapy.



By Jaspreet Mann

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