Anatomical techniques within structure delineation

Within this line of research, the Radiation Oncology Research Group uses anatomical techniques and cadaver models to optimize radiotherapeutic treatments and adapt them to innovations in this field. Thiel embalmed cadaver models are most frequently used for this purpose because they can be set up and scanned in the desired positions, thanks to their unique flexibility and realistic representation of the different structures.

These Thiel cadaver experiments are used to investigate irradiation protocols and to contrast and display target structures and organs at risk in integrated MRI and CT datasets. They are also used to automate manual delineation (indicating target structures) using anatomically validated structure identification via specific dissection techniques.

Research projects

Brachial plexus delineation in intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatment planning

This PhD project aimed to optimize the delineation process of the brachial plexus as an organ at risk on planning CT, for radiotherapeutic treatment of head and neck tumours.

In an initial phase, an accurate manual delineation method was developed, using gold standard delineations developed by fusion of CT and MRI imaging of Thiel cadavers, with anatomical validation by dissection. In a second phase, an automatic brachial plexus delineation method was developed with the same gold standard datasets from cadavers.

 

Optimizing delineation guidelines for the lymphatic system for IMRT planning of breast cancer patients, treated in prone crawl position

The first part of this project consists of contrasting and visualizing the lymphatic vessels. The second part focuses on adjusting and optimizing delineation guidelines to the new prone crawl treatment position in breast cancer with lymphatic metastases.

Collaborations

  • Eric Achten of the department of Radiology (University Hospital Ghent) for CT
  • Eric Achten, Stephanie Bogaert, Peter Vandemaele and Pim Pullens of GIfMI for MRI
  • Wouter Willaert and Katharina D'Herde of CETRAS for Thiel specimens
  • Joris Van de Velde of the Anatomie en Embryologie Research Group for research advice
  • Christian Vanhove of the Infinity lab for micro CT
  • Dominique Adriaens of the department of Biology, research group Evolutionary Morphology of Vertebrates, for image processing and analysis
  • Charlotte Debbaut of IBiTech - bioMMeda for engineering
  • Carl Vangestel of the Joint experimental molecular unit (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)  for statistics
  • Gianfranco Natale of Pisa University, Italy, for lymphatic research and contrasting
  • Bernadette Schurink of the Pathology department, UMC Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for lymphatic examination

Publications

Questions?

  • Joris Van de Velde, researcher


    • Tom Van Hoof, researcher