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Medical Physics

In medical physics we cooperate with many hospital departments in and around Vienna in the field of X-Ray Diagnostics, Nuclear Medicine and Radio-Oncology. Some projects are done with institutions developing new ideas of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

We focus on 3 main topics:

Brachytherapy:

For more than 19 years prostate patients are treated by brachytherapy (near field radiation therapy) at the Department of Radio-Oncology at the SMZ-Ost. Long-time follow up evaluated by medical statistics is able to improve tumour control by simultaneously reducing side effects. More than 600 patients are recorded and evaluated in this aftercare study.

Development of proton CT:

Over the last decade, proton therapy has become an established method for treating cancer in critical locations of the human body. Prior to treatment, a treatment plan is required. Currently, this treatment plan is based on conventional photon computer tomography (CT). This results in substantial uncertainties due to the different interaction mechanisms of photons and charged particles that can be significantly reduced when the same particle type is used for both treatment and imaging. By measuring the particle’s track inside the object and its residual energy behind it, a precise 3D map of the stopping power for charged particles in the object can be reconstructed. This is known as proton CT or more generally as ion CT.

Dose evaluation with TLD:

Proton radiotherapy allows reduction of the dose burden but still the existing knowledge and understanding of the out-of-field doses and associated risk of inducing secondary malignant neoplasms is not sufficiently mature to justify the use of modern techniques for treating children. Much of the concern is related to the carcinogenic risk from secondary particles, which are unavoidably produced by the beam modifying devices and tissues itself. Therefore, a characterization of the secondary radiation dose in a distant location from the tumor volume requires special detectors to be involved. Thermoluminescent detectors (TLDs) arerecognized as an excellent material for broad dosimetric applications as they exhibit high sensitivity, low background, resistivity against environmental conditions, tissue-equivalence and small sizes to not disturb the radiation field. Within a project at MedAustron radiotherapy center, the TLDs are involved in dose measurements inside a tissue-equivalent human phantom in the organs close to the tumor and in distant organs.

Main Cooperation Partners:

  • AKH Vienna – Department of Radiation Oncology

  • AKH Vienna – Department of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

  • SMZ-Ost – Donauspital – Department of Nuclear Medicine

  • SMZ-Ost – Donauspital – Department of Radiation Therapy

  • Krankenhaus Lainz – Institut für Nuklearmedizin und Strahlentherapie

  • MedAUSTRON – Proton and Carbon Ion Therapy

 

Accelerator Physics is done in cooperation with CERN (Austrian Doctoral Students Program) and MedAUSTRON.