Radiation therapy of cancer has evolved significantly over the last few decades. Advances in treatments have been striving to minimize the radiation dose delivered to the healthy tissue surrounding the active cancer volume while maximizing the efficacy of the dose delivered to the actual cancer. This has been accomplished through advances in high resolution imaging (e.g. Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Ultrasound); advanced radiation treatment techniques that increase the number of treatment fields (i.e., directions in which the radiation is externally applied), e.g. intensity-modulated radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy; and/or treatment techniques that time-gate the application of the radiation (e.g. real-time tumor tracking radiotherapy, respiration gated radiation therapy). With the increase in complexity of radiation treatments, more sophisticated quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) techniques are needed to ensure effective treatment while maintaining patient safety.
NuMat is developing the TruDose Phantom that features patient- specific geometry and tissue composition. The NuMat TruDose Phantom is suitable for use with a wide variety of advanced proton and photon therapies, including IMRT, VMAT, IMPT and for a number of hard to treat cancer modalities, including brain, breast, lung, and prostate cancers. For the first time, treatment centers will have the ability to effectively and confidently link a patient’s planned treatment dose to the delivered dose even for the most sophisticated treatment techniques.
The NuMat TruDose Phantom is made from proprietary polymers that allow the phantom to accurately model a specific patient’s tissue/bone density and energy-dependent effective Z numbers. A patient’s medical images are translated into instructions for a three-dimensional (3D) printer that creates the model of the patient’s tissues. Bone materials are added during post-fabrication processing. Future enhancements are planned to allow both tissue and bone materials to be extruded by the 3D printer.
The TruDose phantom can be treated with the prescribed treatment plan prior to patient treatment delivery to help inform dose calculation; simultaneously with the patient to independently verify delivered dose; or for quality assurance of the equipment. As a result, contemporary proton and photon therapies, e.g., IMRT, VMAT, and IMPT can be delivered more accurately and with reduced potential for error and harmful side-effects to healthy tissues. For difficult to deliver treatments the NuMat TruDose phantom can be vital in the precise delivery of radiation treatments.
uMat has applied for patent protection for this invention and has exclusive, transferable, and irrevocable license to this technology. NuMat is looking to partner with interested parties to commercialize this important innovation in radiation therapy quality assurance.