RWTH Aachen / Institute for automatic controls / BMBF Project RoPaRa obtained approval

If the position of a tumor varies during irradiation as a consequence of physiological processes, such as by breathing, heartbeat or digestion, the calculation and application of an optimal dose distribution gets more and more complicate. In current medical practice, adjusting the focus range of the radiation beam to the statistical distribution of the position to be destroyed tumor tissue is often practiced. This means an extension of the target region of the irradiation to ensure that the tumor tissue is within in this area all the time. This practice has the consequence that also healthy tissue is exposed to high radiation doses. To overcome this conflict, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from research institutes and the German medical technology companies has formed at the RWTH. Core of the approach is a robot-controlled patient support, allowing to individually compensated tumor motion through the corresponding counter-movement of the table. Thus, the target volume can be reduced and set as close as possible around the tumor.

The development of robot-guided patient bed will be held in cooperation with industrial companies and research institutes, the interdisciplinary contribute their skills. "In recent years we have managed at RWTH to initiate numerous research projects, which are characterized by an interdisciplinary team. Now we have to go one step further and also the fundamental sciences such as mathematics and physics in our research projects with industry to integrate, "said Professor Dirk Abel, director of the Institute of Automatic Control.