MITTUG Minimal Invasive Therapy for Tumors 3D Ultrasound Guided

The aim of the MITTUG project is to develop new methods for prostrate treatment.
A modern and very rapidly growing alternative to the traditional treatment for cancer, surgery, is radiation treatment.

At present, brachytherapy radiation treatment, i.e. a technique where the radioactive sources are inserted in the patient’s body, is conducted by two principal methods:

  • Either by implanting radioactive seeds of low activity (LDR) and leaving them in the tumour forever (continuously decreasing activity of the seeds because of the decay)
  • Or by a short-duration treatment using a computer driven single high activity radioactive source (HDR) and catheters or needles inserted temporary in the tissue.

MITTUG is going to create a dual usage brachytherapy system employing seeds (LDR) or catheters (HDR) using 3D-ultrasound images rather than CT scans. 3D-ultrasound makes real-time indication of true position after insertion in the body relative to their planned position available.

MedCom developes the 3D U/S tomographic acquisition system, which provides 3D-visualisation of a volumetric dataset to track the movements of the transducer in space.

Further, MedCom together with Strahlenklinik Offenbach develope a system to determine the "ideal paths" of an implantation (catheters or seeds) on the virtual patient and before the real implantation is taking place.
This system makes it possible to calculate the ideal necessary number and location of implants starting from the desired irradiation pattern.
Thereby consider constrains such as anatomic limitations and maximum dose on organs of risk.

To provide a system tracking the location of the implant in space during the implantation process, compare it to the desired one and ensure that the due positions are as close as possible to the desired ones, MedCom and Strahlenklinik Offenbach develope a navigation-system to guide seeds and catheters to the right position. This navigation-system is based on a combination on templates and U/S guided verification.
The used templates are special designed plates with trackable marked corners and precise measured aiming points for the needles on it to be placed nearby the prostate.

Navigation system for seeds
The due positions defined by the paths of the template will be displayed on the screen, whereas the due positions of the implant needles will be acquired by 3D U/S and compared with the pre-defined ones.

Navigation system for catheters
The navigation system based on the 3D datasets and tracking the location of the needle by trackers.

For further information please view the article of the Fraunhofer Magazin (2002)and press release of the Fraunhofer IGD (2001).

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