|Department of Engineering|
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17 October 2007
An image of the 3D surface of the breast
captured with a laser scanner.
The colour from blue to red signifies how much the
breast has changed shape after radiotherapy - red
indicates a significant change
Dr Charlotte Coles and Miss Jenny Wilkinson accepted Breast Cancer Campaign's 'Research Team of the Year 2007' award on behalf of the Cambridge Breast IMRT Trial Management Group at Addenbrooke's Hospital, for their outstanding work looking into improving radiotherapy for breast cancer patients.
The primary objective of the Cambridge Breast IMRT Trial is to prove that IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy) decreases toxicity compared with standard breast radiotherapy. Over 1100 patients have now been recruited.
In order to do this it is necessary to measure the way that the size and shape of the breast changes in response to the radiotherapy. This involves comparing the three-dimensional outline of the breast at regular intervals during the treatment with its initial outline. The complex curved shape of the breast makes this comparison difficult to achieve in a repeatable and reliable way.
A novel analytical tool to assess breast shrinkage after radiotherapy has been developed in collaboration with Dr Graham Treece and his team here at the Department of Engineering. Graham wrote the laser surface matching software based on an original algorithm devised by Tom Drummond. This laser surface matching software will give information about the position and extent of breast shrinkage, by measuring the subtle changes in the 3D breast shape and hence measure the quantitative effects of the various treatments under evaluation, this can then be mapped to the original radiotherapy plan.
This high quality clinical trial data is linked with patient blood DNA samples to look for genetic variation in normal tissue side effects. The IMRT Trial has now contributed 50% of samples for the multi-centre translational study RAPPER, developing individualised radiotherapy based on patient's genetics.
Presenting the 'Research Team of the Year 2007' prize at the inaugural awards ceremony at the House of Lords, Professor Alastair Thompson, Chair of Campaign's Scientific Advisory Board said, "Campaign's Research Team of the Year Award, now in its fifth year, is given to the Campaign research team whose work has made valuable advances in breast cancer research during the past year."
Dr Charlotte Coles said "We are delighted to receive the Team of the Year award. Campaign's funding has allowed us to establish a large trial and follow-up patients over several years to assess the success of this new type of radiotherapy."
For further information please contact Dr Graham Treece email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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