Research Group Applied Medical Radiation Physics

Group leader: Prof. Dr. Christian Karger

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Research Focus

Successful radiation treatment requires accurate dose delivery as well as a detailed understanding of the radiation response of tumors and normal tissue. The research of our group is dedicated to image-guided radiotherapy (IgRT), dosimetry, experimental radiobiology and radiobiological modeling. Image guidance is a well-established procedure in radiotherapy, however, adapting dose delivery to temporal anatomical changes is still not established in daily treatments. Our developments in IgRT focus on magnetic resonance (MR)-guided radiotherapy but also include x-ray radiotherapy as well as surface- and ultrasound-guided radiotherapy (SgRT and USgRT) techniques. In the field of radiobiology, we investigate the effectiveness of different ion beams (proton, helium, carbon and oxygen) in tumors and normal tissues in dependence of treatment parameters to improve empirical and model-based predictions of the effectiveness of ion beams relative to x-rays. These studies are extended by diagnostic imaging studies as well as by histological and molecular studies. The impact of tumor hypoxia on radiation response is studied experimentally as well as by the development of computational response models.
The projects of our group are closely related to clinical application and to the investigation of radiobiological processes that determine the radiation response in normal tissues and tumors. We closely cooperate with the department of Radiation Oncology and Radiotherapy of the university hospital Heidelberg and our research group is also part of the Clinical Research Group Medical Physics.

Recent externally funded projects

  1. High-, moderate- and low-LET ion beams in the treatment of radioresistant tumors: Impact of beam quality, tumor grading, and hypoxic status on radiation response, German Research Foundation (DFG, 2nd funding period)
  2. Quantification of the biological effectiveness of proton, helium and oxygen ions in the spinal cord to optimize patient treatments, German Cancer Aid (2nd funding period)
  3. Traceable dosimetry for small fields in MR-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT-DOS), European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) https://mrgrtmetrology.com/
  4. Adaptive Radiotherapie mit MR-gesteuerten IonenStrahlen (ARTHEMIS, TP 6), Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Contact

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Prof. Dr. Christian Karger

Head of the research group Applied Medical Radiation Physics

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