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Patent of the Week: Precisely Delivering High Dose Radiation to Multiple Tumor Sites

Patent of the Week

University of Chicago researchers have developed an algorithm and prototype software package that successfully generates radiation beam angles for more precisely delivering treatment to multiple tumor sites.

Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SART) is a highly focused radiation treatment, also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). The treatment concentrates radiation doses at the tumor site and limits exposure to surrounding organs.

Although SART is accurate and non-invasive, it is rarely used to simultaneously treat multiple tumor sites due to the cross interaction between radiation beams.

To solve for this challenge, researchers – including Ralph Weichselbaum, Daniel K. Ludwig Distinguished Service Professor of Radiation and Cellular Oncology Chair, Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology – have developed an algorithm that scores individual SART beam angles by the ratio of radiation dose delivered to the target tumor as compared to the surrounding healthy tissue.

After inputting a patient’s scans and target radiation dose the algorithm calculates suggested SART beam angles that would deliver the highest radiation dose to all the target tumors with the lowest off-target impact to healthy tissue. Physicians can use this information to more quickly generate a patient-specific radiotherapy plan while maintaining control of the final treatment design.

The inventors have developed a prototype software package that can successfully generate SART beam angles for patients with up to three distinct tumor sites.

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// Patent of the Week is a weekly column highlighting research and inventions from University of Chicago faculty.

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