Dartmouth Research Team Invited to Share Abstract on Promising Findings in Radiation Oncology at National Conference

radiation beam phantom model
In this image of a “phantom” patient model, the radiation beam field can be clearly visualized.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has invited a research team from Dartmouth’s and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) to present their abstract “Imaging Radiotherapy-Induced Cherenkov Emission in Color” at an oral platform session during the ASTRO Annual Meeting in October. After peer-review, this work was selected out of 2,000 abstracts as one of the 30 winners for ASTRO's Annual Meeting Abstract Award. The abstract will also be featured in the Physics Science Highlights session at the meeting, which provides an overview of some of the top-rated medical physics abstracts being presented.

Key personnel on this multidisciplinary project include Daniel Alexander, a PhD candidate at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth; Petr Bruza, PhD; David J. Gladstone, ScD; Lesley A. Jarvis, MD, PhD; and Brian W. Pogue, PhD. This work is related to the Cherenkov imaging research performed in radiation oncology.

Cherenkov imaging camera
A special highly sensitive camera designed by NCCC scientists is capable of imaging Cherenkov emission from patients in full color. This new color-sensitive imaging allows radiation therapists to see differences in the tissues, such as blood volume and blood oxygenation level.

Norris Cotton Cancer Center is the only cancer center in the world that routinely uses Cherenkov imaging to monitor all radiotherapy treatments. This project involved designing a special highly sensitive camera that is capable of imaging Cherenkov emission from patients in full color.

Alexander explains, “In our standard Cherenkov imaging research, we are able to visualize the radiation beam as it hits the patient being treated, allowing us to confirm the treatment is going as planned. This new color-sensitive imaging allows us to investigate differences in the tissues, such as blood volume and blood oxygenation level. With this technology, in the future we will be able to more accurately quantify radiation delivery and ensure safe treatment for all patients.”

Incoming Chief of Radiation Oncology, Charles R. Thomas, Jr., MD, offers his congratulations sharing, “Pound for pound, Dartmouth medical physics continues to punch its weight and is a leading source of pioneering research in this arena. This selection is an honor for the Dartmouth team!”

About Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Norris Cotton Cancer Center, located on the campus of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, NH with the highest level of high-quality, innovative, personalized, and compassionate patient-centered cancer care at DHMC, as well as at regional, multi-disciplinary locations and partner hospitals throughout NH and VT. NCCC is one of only 51 centers nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious “Comprehensive Cancer Center” designation, the result of an outstanding collaboration between DHMC, New Hampshire’s only academic medical center, and Dartmouth College. Now entering its fifth decade, NCCC remains committed to excellence, outreach and education, and strives to prevent and cure cancer, enhance survivorship and to promote cancer health equity through its pioneering interdisciplinary research. Each year the NCCC schedules 61,000 appointments seeing nearly 4,000 newly diagnosed patients, and currently offers its patients more than 100 active clinical trials.

About Dartmouth Engineering

Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, founded in 1867, works to better the world through research and education with human-centered impact. Serving as a hub for scholarship and innovation, Dartmouth Engineering prepares the next generation of leaders through undergraduate and graduate degree programs that foster learning and discovery both within and across disciplines. Home to the nation's first PhD Innovation Program, Dartmouth Engineering is a leader in creating engineers with both technical and entrepreneurial expertise to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. Learn more at the Dartmouth Engineering website and find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@thayerschool).