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Methods and Advanced Equipment for Simulation and Treatment in Radio Oncology

Project objectives :

The present project, MAESTRO, proposes innovative research to develop and validate in clinical conditions the advanced methods and equipment needed in cancer treatment for new modalities in high conformal external radiotherapy employing electrons, photons and protons beams.

 Today’s approaches to treat cancer are the surgical removal of the tumour tissue, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immuno-therapy. Among them radiotherapy remains a major technique to treat cancer. More than a half of all cancer patients are now treated by radiation therapy thanks to the technical progress made with irradiation equipment in the last ten years.

 The project aims at improving the conformation of the dose delivered to the target (tumoral tissues) whatever its shape in order to spare the surrounding tissues. To do this new technologies in the field of patient positionning and organ tracking, advanced software for treatment planning system, dose calculation and measurement, are to be developed, and linked to the emerging IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy) technique and proton therapy.

 Programme of activities :

 MAESTRO incorporates major research and technological development programmes involving clinics and industrials which will be linked throughout and described below. The project includes 4 specific work packages on research and development activities and two work packages of training and management activities :  

    - Adaptive Radiation delivery, tracking and control for radiotherapy (WP1),
    - Radiotherapy Software development (WP2),
     - Sensors for dose evaluation in radiotherapy (WP3),
    - Clinical requirements, protocols and validation (WP4), 
    - Organs at Risk Assessment studies (WP4),
    - Clinical workshops for training and dissemination purposes (WP5),
    - Management (WP6)

 Potential Impact :

The project has the potential to accelerate development of advanced devices, to insure their dissemination, to increase the compromise between treatment efficency and patient safety, to consolidate collaboration between European teams and to spread new methods and knowledge through workshops. A major expected result of the project is to decrease the number of deaths due to primary tumours without metastases.


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