This project focuses on the treatment of prostate and cervix cancer.

Radiation therapy (RT) is a widely accepted treatment option, using either external radiation beams (EBRT) or implanted radioactive sources (brachytherapy) to deliver the dose to the tumor. At present, Computed Tomography (CT) imaging is the primary modality for planning dose distribution, since this modality inherently supplies information on tissue densities. However, CT lacks soft-tissue contrast and thus supplies only limited information on tumor lesions and surrounding structures at risk. Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging has excellent soft-tissue contrast, allowing accurate delineation and characterization of the tumor and surrounding normal anatomical structures.

The goal of the DR THERAPAT project is to develop and demonstrate a system for patient-specific model-based RT planning of prostate and cervix cancer. MRI will be used as the major imaging modality and biophysical models will be developed for tumor tissue and surrounding normal tissues. The ultimate goal is to be able to patient-specifically developed the optimal RT plan and to simulate its response, in order to optimize Tumor Control Probability (TCP, measure of treatment success) and to minimize Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP, measure of harm to surrounding normal tissue).

The EU industry may benefit from this cooperation in many ways, on the short term (optimized MRI protocols, specifications for future RT applications, innovative image analysis & visualization tools) as well as on the longer term (complete MR-based RT planning system). The clinical community will benefit from more accurate, more patient-specific RT planning solutions. Eventually, society will benefit substantially from improved cancer treatment. The increase in therapy response and reduction of complications will lead to less cancer mortality and lower cancer care cost.