Our research on radiotherapy for cancer treatments optimizes a narrow X-ray beam radiation dose that targets tumors while minimizing radiation exposure in surrounding healthy tissue. Though bombarding a tumor can help treat cancer, unfortunately, radiation doesn’t pick and choose the cells it harms. Healthy tissue is often damaged in an act of “medical friendly fire.” With the help of optimization models developed at WID, a wide array of data — MRI pictures of internal organs, varying oxygen content of human tissue, scattering tendencies of radiation beams and even the rise and fall of the patient’s chest — can be parsed to minimize the collateral damage likely to be caused by lifesaving technology aimed in a less-than-optimal direction.
For more in-depth information, see the following original research papers:
- Shepard et al. (1999) “Optimizing the Delivery of Radiation Therapy to Cancer Patients”
- Ferris et al. (2003) “An Optimization Approach for Radiosurgery Treatment Planning”
- Lim et al. (2007) “An Optimization Framework for Conformal Radiation Treatment Planning”
A problem often encountered by biologists centers around defining appropriate protein and drug (factor) concentrations in a mixture of signaling factors to realize a desired biological outcome. For example, this outcome may be realized in the production of a particular cell-type to be used either as a tool for discovery or a therapeutic. Current high-throughput […]