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2x OIO fysica radiotherapie

Real-time plan adaptations for the hybrid 1.5 T MRI radiotherapy system

The Project
Radiotherapy aims to cure cancer patients by destroying the tumour tissue with ionising radiation. High precision irradiation requires daily, real-time imaging of the tumour. MRI offers the best available soft-tissue contrast imaging for treatment guidance. To facilitate this the UMC Utrecht has, together with Elekta and Philips, constructed the world's first radiotherapy system integrated with a 1.5 T MRI scanner. This system can deliver radiation with mm accuracy while the target is visualised by MRI. The current project concerns the use of real-time MRI guidance for radiotherapy plan adaptations. For work within this project we are looking for excellent PhD-students. Using real-time MRI guidance for radiotherapy plan adaptations has multiple sides to it, the work can be roughly separated as follows.

MRI based tracking
The MR imaging has to be tailored to provide data which allow 4D tracking of the anatomy. So dedicated MRI sequences for fast scanning e.g. by undersampling in combination with smart reconstruction approaches, but also anatomical modelling to predict motion in order to account for acquisition latency.

Real-time image processing and dose calculations
Also the processing of real-time images to distill meaningfull parameters that are required for optimising the radiation dose distribution will be addressed. So identifying the relevant anatomical
structures in the MRI data. The subsequent computational challenging step is the real-time dose calculations in order to determine the optimal dose distribution for the actual state of the anatomy while accounting for the preceeding (part of the) treatment.

Strategies for real-time MRI guided radiotherapy
With 4D MRI, identified structures and fast dose calculations all ingredients are available to adapt the treatment and to tailor the dose dsitribution to the anatomy as visualised on the MRI. Strategies need to be designed, implemented and verified to actually use this in a clinical setting. Fast adaptation means an increasing level of automation as well as sophisticated verification strategies.

The Department
The Department of Radiotherapy of the University Medical Center Utrecht is part of the graduate school of Life Sciences of the Utrecht University and presents itself at

We are looking for 2 PhD students (biomedical) physics, computational physics, computer
science or alike to work on this project. If you are interested in one or a combination of topics, you are invited to send a resume and brief explanation about your interest. Also for more information please contact Dr. B.W. Raaymakers