Cherenkov research in ‘Focus’

A radiation beam treatment is visualized here in the first in human use of the technique.

A scientific breakthrough may give the field of radiation oncology new tools to increase the precision and safety of radiation treatment in cancer patients by helping doctors “see” the powerful beams of a linear accelerator as they enter or exit the body. Twelve patients are participating in a pilot study, which is being conducted by Thayer professor Brian Pogue, Geisel professors Lesley Jarvis and David J. Gladstone,  graduate students Adam Glaser and Rongxiao Zhang, and medical student Whitney Hitchcock. While the Optics in Medicine Laboratory has been researching potential clinical applications of the Cherenkov effect for over four years, in July of 2013 the team first examined the fluorescent radiation in a female patient undergoing treatment for breast cancer. By integrating Cherenkov imaging into routine clinical care, the team believes that the technology could be used to verify that the proper dose is being delivered to patients, helping to avoid misadministration of radiation therapy, a rare, but dangerous occurrence.

To learn more about Cherenkov imaging, read the full article published in Focus by Norris Cotton Cancer Center.