Professor Ashish Dutta from IIT Kanpur and professor KJ Maria Das from SGPGI, Lucknow have developed a programmable 3D robotic motion platform for the quality assurance of respiratory motion management techniques in radiation therapy. The 3D robotic platform can simulate human lung motion during breathing can deliver focused radiation to cancer patients. The program was conceived with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies program of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and is currently under final testing in SGPGIMS, Lucknow.
“This 3D robotic platform shall enable doctors to simulate the lung motion of a cancer patient, which in turn will help verify the delivery of focused radiation in the upper abdomen or thoracic region. The focused radiation for a patient could be further customised by simulating the lung movement of individual patients and then orienting the radiation delivery so that it can be more effective with minimal dosage to adjoining tissue,” said Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT Kanpur.
How to IIT Kanpur and SGPGI 3D Robotic Platform Works
The 3D robotic platform is more affordable than other imported products available in the market and the phantom can be programmed to produce different types of human lung motion during breathing. The phantom is part of a platform not only emulates the human lung motion as a patient is breathing but can also be used to check if the radiation is being correctly focussed on a moving target.
The phantom is placed inside a CT scanner on the bed in place of the human, and it emulates human lung motion as it is irradiated during therapy. During irradiation, consistently high-quality images of advanced 4D radiation therapy treatments are obtained with minimum exposure of the patients and workers. Before the targeted radiation is delivered to a human subject, its effectiveness in focusing only on the tumor is checked with this phantom, said a statement from DST.
The major part of the phantom is a dynamic platform over which any dosimetric or imaging quality assurance devices can be placed, and the platform can mimic 3D tumor motion by using three independent stepper-motor systems. This platform is placed on the bed where the patient lays down during radiation therapy. As the phantom emulates the lung movement, a moving or gating window is used to focus the radiation from the radiation machine on the moving tumour. Detectors placed in the phantom help detect whether the radiation is localised on the tumour, and the dose effectiveness is checked during therapy.
The innovators are further trying to commercialize the product, which can be used in place of the overseas model that is very much more expensive and does not give access to the control software.