News & Events

3D Conformal Treatment Technique

(2017-11-17) The article by Suk Whan (Paul) Yoon (PhD candidate, advisor Dr. Oldham) and his co-authors, "A precision 3D conformal treatment technique in rats: application to whole brain radiotherapy with hippocampal avoidance," was featured in on November 10th. The Duke team has developed a novel 3D conformal treatment technique to deliver WBRT in laboratory rats. Their most recent implementation of this technique incorporates several innovations, including high-precision 3D-printed immobilization and conformal radiation blocks and high-resolution MRI atlases, to achieve hippocampal avoidance (HA) WBRT. (Read the article here)



Pencil Beam Scanning Radiation Therapy

(Photo courtesy of: Joseph Lo. From left to right: Dr. Oana Craciunescu and Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic)

(2017-11-17) Zeljko Vujaskovic, MD, PhD, Professor and Head of the Division of Translational Radiation Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology, delivered distinguished lecture titled “The Concurrent Pencil Beam Scanning Proton Therapy and Hyperthermia: Initial Clinical Experience,” Dr. Vujaskovic discussed the current clinical attempt to combine proton therapy and hyperthermia at the University of Maryland Proton Treatment Center. Proton therapy itself has been known to reduce toxicity and normal tissue dose in some cases of cancer, while hyperthermia has been clinically shown to have better tumor control. Combining the two treatments can potentially reduce the morbidity of the treatment and improve radiobiologic impact on tumor tissue. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of further clinical trials and multi-institutional collaborations to improve this treatment. The lecture was then immediately followed by reception and townhall discussion in Hock Plaza Medial Physics classroom, where students were able to ask follow-up questions regarding pencil beam scanning proton therapy, hyperthermia, and other career-related questions.

The next distinguished lecture will be delivered by Udo Hoffman, MD, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Cardiac Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital on January 18, 2018.


New Siemens Grant Awarded

(2017-11-17) Dr. Ehsan Samei (Radiology) has received a new three-year grant from Siemens Medical Solutions titled “Optimal design of CT protocols based on task-based image quality”. The modern CT systems offer immense flexibility in the way a patient image can be acquired. This flexibility is offered through a range of acquisition and reconstruction parameters that impact the resulting image quality as well as dose. The multi parametric space of image acquisition, while flexible, is complex to navigate.  This is primarily due to the fact that the parameters are generally based on technological aspects of image acquisition, while the goal of optimal imaging is a desired level of image quality and safety.  The correspondence between the scan parameter space and image quality-safety space is not straightforward due to the multi-dimensional reality of both spaces.  The goal of this project is to devise a metrology based on fundamentals of image quality that can inform the optimal design of CT acquisition protocol.  The idea is that, based on the current science of image quality, a set of indices can be devised that capture the expected image quality of a CT acquisition prior to an exam. The indices can thus be used as a tool to guide the selection of the scan parameters towards targeted image quality criteria.

International Day of MedPhys

(2017-11-03) On Tuesday, November 07, 2017, the Medical Physics community will celebrate the 5th International Day of Medical Physics and Marie Curie’s 150th birthday with educational trivia games and food. The theme of IDMP 2017 is ‘Medical Physics: Providing a Holistic Approach to Women Patients and Women Staff Safety in Radiation Medicine’. To raise awareness about the role medical physicists play for benefit of patients, the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) organizes annually the International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP) on November 7, an important date in the history of medical physics. On that day in 1867, Marie Sklodowska-Curie, known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, was born in Poland.



Physics in Medicine Summit 2017

(Photo courtesy of Hananiel Setiawan. From left to right: Cielle Collins and Jingxi Weng, Duke Medical Physics Graduate Program MS students)

(2017-11-03) The Duke Medical Physics Graduate Program, in conjunction with the Departments of Physics and Biomedical Engineering, held the first Physics in Medicine tri-program interdisciplinary summit, which brought together students and faculties from Medical Physics, Physics, and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. T. Rockwell Mackie, Emeritus Professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Co-founder of Tomotherapy, Inc., gave the plenary talk, titled “Physics, Medicine, Engineering: What Does the Future Hold?” In his talk, Dr. Mackie highlighted the importance of looking for gaps between physical sciences and engineering disciplinaries and operating at these edges to solve current challenges facing the medical physics field. In addition, Dr. Ehsan Samei (Medical Physics Program Director), Dr. Warren Warren (Chair of Physics Department), and Dr. Kathy Nightingale (BME Professor and Director of the Medical Imaging Training Program) delivered remarks for the event.

Over 30 students and faculties presented their research works during the event through poster session, which had five main themes: EM Radiation and Energy in Medicine and Biology, Applications of Modeling and Simulation, Measurement Instrumentation in Action, Physics in Medical Imaging, and Physics in Radiation Therapy. Congratulations to Robert Morhard (1st place), James Spencer (2nd place), and Paul Yoon (3rd place) for winning the best poster presentation award.