New devices and techniques for precise delivery of combined cancer treatments
Research studies of combined radiotherapy and heat therapies (hyperthermia) reported positive results but integrating these two cancer therapies has been hindered by the complexity of comparing the relevant variables, including temperature increases, duration and intervals between treatments. Clinical adoption would require new measurement approaches, such as more precise control of temperature and measurement of biological effects.
The project will develop new calibration devices, a new measurement framework and measurement techniques. Biological mechanisms will be assessed, for controlled and reproducible delivery of radiation and hyperthermia, and patient-specific prescriptions. Combinations of radiotherapies will be compared with different hyperthermia treatments, with and without heat, to quantify a dose modifying factor. Ahead of any patient trials, outcomes will be promoted to laboratories, manufacturers, standards bodies, development agencies and end users. Anticipated impacts include improved capabilities for researchers and the expansion of the radiotherapy device market. For cancer patients, this should mean less invasive treatments and, above all, better chances of survival and improved quality of life.