European research project ORIGIN is developing innovative optical fibre technology to deliver more precise and effective brachytherapy for the treatment of prostate and gynaecological cancer.
Sinéad O’Keeffe, a research fellow at the University of Limerick, Ireland is leading a consortium of partners from across Europe in developing new technology to monitor the radiation dose in real time and map the precise location of the radioactive sources during brachytherapy treatment.
"Correct placement of the radiation source is vital to ensure adequate radiation to the target area [tumor], while ensuring minimum exposure to nearby critical organs, such as, in the case of prostate and gynaecological cancers, the bladder, urethra, and rectal wall," O’Keeffe said.
ORIGIN, which received €4.8 million in funding from the European Commission, is developing a new 16-point optical fibre based sensor system. The aim is to offer a 50% improvement in uncertainty over existing systems.
The characterization of ORIGIN’s scintillating materials was published in the journal Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A in August. Also in August, ORIGIN researcher Orla Houlihan published an article in the British Journal of Radiology describing the potential role for in vivo dosimetry in the reduction of uncertainties in pelvic brachytherapy, the pertinent factors for consideration in clinical practice, and the future potential for in vivo dosimetry in the personalization of brachytherapy.
This is one of the many biomedical engineering research projects that caught our attention this year. Click through the slides to see four other biomedical engineering projects that wowed us in 2022.