Research in Radiation Oncology

Worldwide unique stereotactic radiosurgery with scanned proton beams o treat a patien with arteriovenous malformation (AVM)

The clinical cooperation unit of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is involved in a variety of clinical, biological and technical research activities which are realized in cooperation with the University Hospital and departments of the DKFZ such as Medical Physics, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.

  • One focus is currently the MR-Guidance trial (Radiat Oncol. 2014;9:12) which investigates the daily inter fractional image guidance of radiotherapy using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and shuttle-based patient transport. Compared to CT, MRI might offer the advantage of providing image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) without delivering an additional radiation dose to the patients. In this trial we investigate the possibility of optimization of adaptive therapy strategies due to superior soft tissue contrast of MRI.

  • Towards the development of treatment systems that combine MRI with linear accelerators we currently investigate the biologic effects of magnetic fields (up to 3T)on tumor cells with respect to altered electron trajectories.

  • Another focus of our research is the optimization of a combined therapy with ion and photon radiation. We investigate software solutions which enhance the intelligent integration of multimodal therapies.

  • We furthermore extensively investigate the use of stereotactic body therapy (SBRT) together with the German Society of Radiotherapy (DEGRO) and the dkfz. Here we apply ultra fast techniques (flattening filter free) and gating methods using electromagnetic markers (see CALYPSO study) are being investigated.

  • Within a special research field program (SFB Transregio “cognition guided surgery”) we investigate strategies to detect, predict and manage intra- and inter fractional variations in photon and ion radiotherapy.

  • We also perform analyses of the use of dual energy CT (DECT) for the generation of planning CTs with the aim of  i) metal artefact correction, ii) extraction of a virtual native CT and iii) direct measurement of electron density.

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