Movies could be just as good as anesthesia for many child cancer patients undergoing radiation, and SpongeBob SquarePants, Barbie and Disney's Cars might be the best choices. Those three are the most popular videos projected onto the inside of a radiotherapy machine during a study into whether movies could make the kids keep still as well as general anesthesia, according to research that was presented at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology's ESTRO 36 conference. Thousands of kids younger than 15 need radiation treatment every year for certain types of cancer, including brain tumors and the bone cancer Ewing's sarcoma. They can't move while in the machine, so they are often given anesthesia -- doses that add up after almost daily treatments for several weeks and require them to have empty stomachs. But according to ESTRO, projecting a movie above their faces keeps the kids still and "is less traumatic for children and their families, as well as making each treatment quicker and more cost effective."
How much is too much? These are questions that cut to the heart of a complex issue currently preoccupying senior medical physicists when it comes to the training and continuing professional development (CPD) of the radiotherapy physics workforce. What's exercising management and educators specifically is the extent to which the core expertise and domain knowledge of radiotherapy physicists should evolve to reflect – and, in so doing, best support – the relentless progress of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technologies within the radiation oncology workflow. In an effort to bring a degree of clarity and consensus to the collective conversation, the ESTRO 2022 Annual Congress in Copenhagen last month featured a dedicated workshop session entitled "Every radiotherapy physicist should know about AI/machine learning…but how much?" With several hundred delegates packed into Room D5 at the Bella Center, speakers were tasked by the session moderators with defending a range of "optimum scenarios" to align the know-how of medical physicists versus emerging AI/machine-learning opportunities in the radiotherapy clinic.
As part of a plan launched by the Ministry of Health of Brazil to increase the availability of linear accelerators for radiotherapy treatment for the whole country, for which Varian Medical Systems company has won the bidding, a technical cooperation agreement was signed inviting Brazilian Scientific and Technological Institutions to participate in a technology transfer program. As a result, jointly, the Eldorado Research Institute and the Center for Biomedical Engineering of the University of Campinas presents in this work, the concepts behind of a proposed rule engine to aid in the evaluation and decision-making in radiotherapy treatment planning. Normally, the determination of the radiation dose for a given patient is a complex and intensive procedure, which requires a lot of domain knowledge and subjective experience from the oncologists' team. In order to help them in this complex task, and additionally, provide an auxiliary tool for less experienced oncologists, it is presented a project conception of a software system that will make use of a hybrid data-oriented approach. The proposed rule engine will apply both inference mechanism and expression evaluation to verify and accredit the quality of an external beam radiation treatment plan by considering, at first, the 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) technique.
People with bladder cancer should be given a shorter, more intense course of radiotherapy, say researchers, as it lowers the risk of the disease returning by 29 per cent. They found that giving fewer but larger doses of radiation not only reduce the risk of the disease returning, but involves fewer hospital visits - reducing Covid-19 risks. Best of all, fewer doses - resulting in 12 fewer trips to hospital - didn't lead to any increase in side effects compared with those having more, but lower doses of radiation. The authors recommend a shorter course of radiotherapy but with higher individual doses of radiation should be adopted as standard practice in the NHS. Bladder cancer is caused by a tumour developing in the lining of the bladder or the organ's muscle.
A single targeted dose of radiotherapy could be as effective at treating breast cancer as a full course, a long-term study suggests. Researchers said people who received the shorter treatment were also less likely to die of other cancers and heart disease in the following five years. But cancer specialists have raised concerns about the study's methodology. A fifth of patients in the study received extra doses of radiotherapy. The study's lead author, Prof Jayant Vaidya, said he had expected a proportion of the women to need extra radiotherapy, since post-op tests could reveal tumours were bigger or more aggressive than expected.