• Theme: Proton Therapy
In the Model-Based Approach, the key asset of protons over photons is the increase in dose conformity, thereby reducing the dose to organs and healthy tissue other than the target volume. This is based on the fundamental assumptions that 1) the tumor dose (corrected for RBE) will be kept constant in comparing optimized treatment plans of photons and protons, 2) the same dose delivery of photons and protons yields an equivalent biological effect, and 3) the dose is delivered accurately and conform the treatment plan.
The proton therapy research theme focusses on calculating the correct (biologically adjusted) dose, aiming it at the target and verifying that the target has been hit while the other tissues have been (largely) missed. We therefore aim
- to better understand the LET of protons in different tissue types and the relation to their biological effectiveness.
- to mitigate the effect of gradual anatomical changes by implementing image-guided adaptive proton therapy.
- to study and mitigate the dosimetric effects of moving targets on the delivery of proton therapy.
This research is strongly integrated in our clinical research programs through our Rapid-Learning Healthcare System. Using our Model-based approach to select and enroll patients for proton therapy, we will gain rapid clinical experience and insights as to the added value of proton therapy in preventing treatment-related toxicity.