Advancing Photonics for Radiotherapy

Advancing Photonics for Radiotherapy


This project addresses the challenges of delivering effective and optimal radiation treatment for oncology, with specific focus on Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy for treating prostate cancer. It focuses on the need for personalised real-time radiation monitoring during advanced cancer treatments by proposing advances in photonics technology applicable to radiotherapy

It focuses on the development of highly innovative optical fibre based technology to create in-vivo devices for the diagnosis, assessment and radiotherapy treatment of prostate cancer tumours. Specialist micro-machining techniques, based on femto-second laser and ultra-precision diamond tooling, will allow for miniaturised sensor tips to be incorporated at the end of an optical fibre. The small geometries of optical fibres, coupled with the novel and innovative use of micro-machining technologies, facilitates in-vivo placement of the sensors at the tumour site or nearby critical structures requiring monitoring. Furthermore the development of a fully integrated sensor system, in close consultation with leading clinicians and radiotherapy physicists, will ensure the sensors can be incorporated within current clinical environments in a minimally invasive means.

The measurement of oxygen concentration, coupled with the in-vivo radiation dose measurement, constitutes a powerful combination of leading-edge optical fibre based measurement techniques, providing potential solutions to as yet unresolved problems (reliable and repeatable measurements during the treatment of hypoxic tumours). This opens up the possibility of adapting the radiation dose delivered during the course of the radiotherapy treatment, with a consecutive impact on improving patient outcomes.



The project is funded by The Royal Society – Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellowship.
The funded Researcher is Dr Sinead O'Keeffe