The main areas of research for Medical Radiation Physics can be summarized in four work packages:
- basic and applied dosimetry;
- dose calculation and plan optimization;
- advanced imaging for ion beam therapy;
- Monte Carlo simulations in ion beam therapy.
The establishment of dosimetry procedures for the radiation qualities available is a basic prerequisite for all further experiments in both, medial radiation physics as well as radiation biology. This includes among other things novel techniques like for example multi-dimensional and time-resolved dosimetry.
Treatment planning systems for ion beams have been developed quite recently. Therefore, appropriate research versions offer a wide range of improvements in both, currently used ion species as well as novel ion species like for example helium or oxygen. Treatment planning studies will be performed to benchmark ion beam therapy against other treatment options. In addition, strategies for treating moving targets will be developed.
In the last years, image-based applications have successfully gained momentum in conventional radiotherapy. These experiences will also be transferred to ion beam therapy. This comprises image guidance in terms of X-rays, as well as magnetic resonance imaging. Additionally, novel imaging techniques based on monitoring secondary particles for ion beam delivery verification will be developed.
Monte Carlo simulations support all the activities in the previously outlined work packages. Secondary, this research method will be fostered and applied for testing new ideas in silico without requiring beam time.