Research Showcase

A new research facility on image guided therapy and surgery techniques

An OMPI researcher, Dr. Tong Xu, just received funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to establish a research facility on image guided therapy and surgery techniques. The facility will include a state-of-the-art x-ray imaging system and 3D real-time tracking system based on a novel technology called PeTrack (Positron Emission based Tracking). 

The PeTrack system is developed in the Imaging Laboratory at the Department of Physics, Carleton University. The principle is to use positron emitting isotopes to label the target that is interested. The positron emitted from the isotope annihilates with electrons and produce a pair of gamma ray. By detecting these gamma rays, the position of the positron source, i.e. the target, can be determined by a special algorithm developed in this lab. The advantage of this technique is that positron emitting isotope can be label on different targets without constrains of size or shape.

The first application of the PeTrack is to provide real-time tracking of tumour location during radiation therapy. One of the limiting factor of external beam radiation therapy is that may tumour moves constantly during the treatment, for example, lung tumours. It is impossible to focus the radiation on the tumour if the real-time location of the tumour is unknown. Using PeTrack, positron labeled marker(s) will be implemented in to the tumour. The size of the marker is much smaller than the current x-ray marker or EM markers that currently used in the clinic.