Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Washington are developing a new, personalized respiratory motion system designed to provide a more precise, clear image. The system uses mathematical modeling to capture images of a patient’s lung when it is depressed for a clearer image of the tumor to be destroyed. A UTA news release notes that the work is supported by a 3-year, $250,000 National Science Foundation grant and promises to lead to improved, more precise radiation therapy.

Shouyi Wang, an assistant professor in UTA’s industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering department, is the principal investigator on the grant. His approach monitors respiratory gating and utilizes the data collected to focus a radiology beam on the targeted area when the chest cavity is relaxed, which is the stage that provides the best picture of a cancerous site. Wang says, “We will develop a powerful new mathematical model that considers different factors and takes into account all of the major variables, and predicts performance and the best method for a particular patient.”

The computer-guided respiratory gating method is automated with a sensor on the patient’s chest or abdomen that sends a signal to start or stop the common positron emission tomography and computed tomography, or PET/CT, scan, as indicated on the UTA news release. The system allows more precise imaging and eliminates the need for the chest to be compressed.

Wang states, “Respiratory gating is a readily available technology, but it has been very slow to gain acceptance in managing respiratory motion in radiation therapy. We are going to build evidence that it works, that it can be better utilized, easily implemented and that it can be cost-effective.”

Khosrow Behbehani. dean of the UTA college of engineering, says the work exemplifies the school’s commitment to advancing health and the human condition. “Our work as engineers often allows us to present solutions that improve peoples’ quality of life,” Behbehani said. “Dr. Wang’s research may provide relief to lung cancer patients as they undergo life-saving treatments, greatly reducing discomfort and allowing them to benefit from more effective imaging and therapy that will treat their disease.”

Photo Appears Courtesy of UT Arlington

Source: University of Texas at Arlington