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Tomographic imaging and therapy with radiation


Radiation Imaging is a broad issue in medical imaging. Since its discovery, X-ray CT has considerably evolved and remains competitive in many applications. Currently the major improvements rely on three-dimensional, time-resolved and submicrometric spatial resolution imaging. At the same time, new modalities such as fluorescent optical imaging or phase contrast imaging are emerging. These topics are driven by progresses in instrumentation, image reconstruction and image analysis.

Beside the application in imaging, ionizing radiation can also be used to treat and cure patients with cancer. Radiation therapy evolves rapidly towards increasingly conformational and patient-specific treatments. Two issues can be emphasized: (i) image-guidance: the use of optimized imaging modalities makes it possible to develop new treatment modalities such as hypo-fractionated radiation therapy (less sessions, higher dose, higher precision); (ii) ion beam therapy (protons and carbon ions) is becoming a major field in Europe and worldwide. It presents a high ballistic precision and biological effectiveness. One of the main challenges is to simulate in a fast and accurate way the particle interactions within the patient and imaging detectors for planning the treatment and optimizing the use of imaging modalities at every stage of the treatment chain.

The goal of this team is thus the development of new methods for tomography and radiation therapy. Two driving applications will be the development of three-dimensional cellular imaging of bone tissue and the radiation therapy field for cancer treatment. These objectives will motivate research on methods in inverse problems, tomographic reconstruction, dedicated three-dimensional image analysis, image registration and computer-based physics simulations mainly focused on ion beam therapy.

A specificity of the team is the strong relationships with two main technical platforms: the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, and the radiation therapy technical facility of the Léon Bérard cancer center in Lyon (CLB). Part of the team is located in these two facilities. Moreover, there is also a strongly established collaboration with the physicians and the medical physicists of both institutes.

The team is composed of three axes :