Home > Research > Research Overview > 2023 > Faculty of Medicine

Seeking to Improve the Accuracy of Heavy Particle Beam Aiming

Professor, Graduate School of Medical Science

IWAI Takeo

The School of Medicine’s East Japan Heavy Ion Center has been administering heavy ion therapy since February 2021. Although the current method of administering heavy ion therapy has excellent treatment outcomes, further improvement in the accuracy of aiming at the target, including a tumor, should further enhance treatment outcomes and increase the number of patients that can be treated.

The current issues can be divided into two major categories: (1) the target position cannot be monitored before and during irradiation, and (2) the dose distribution actually administered cannot be sufficiently verified. In the Department of Heavy Particle Medical Science of Graduate School of Medical Science Major of innovative Medical Science Research, we have been conducting research on positioning methods using MRI and CT techniques in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and manufacturers to address (1). To address (2), we are conducting joint research with the Faculty of Science and Tohoku University to apply the latest radiation measurement techniques, and we are conducting joint research with Yonsei University in South Korea to develop a method of verifying dose distribution based on beam irradiation records. By working to address (1) and (2) together, we intend to create the ultimate heavy ion therapy.

Zoom meeting with personnel from Yonsei University

The distribution of the stopping power ratio for carbon ions (middle) determined from MRI images (left) with deep learning and the distribution of the actual stopping power ratio (right). Deep learning provided good synthetic images.