Optimization in Radiation Therapy
David Craft, Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
May 21, 2007
Bailey Hall 312
Refreshments will be served at 4:30 in Bailey 204
Treating cancer with radiation (either high energy x-rays or ionizing radiation such as protons) presents a challenging problem in practical mathematical optimization. Thousands of individual beams which can be controlled separately are shot into the patient, producing an optimization problem with thousands of variables. We give an overview of all aspects of treatment planning, including the large scale optimization problem, which is solved for each individual patient based on the geometry and clinical state of his or her disease. We end with a discussion of multi-objective optimization, a current research topic in radiotherapy which addresses the inherent tradeoffs (tumor coverage versus healthy tissue sparing) involved in radiation delivery.
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