We are developing a cooperatively controlled robot system for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) in which a clinician and robot share control of a 3-D ultrasound (US) probe. IGRT involves two main steps: 1) planning/simulation and 2) treatment delivery. The goals of the system are to provide guidance for patient setup and real-time target monitoring during fractionated radiotherapy of soft tissue targets, especially in the upper abdomen. To compensate for soft tissue deformations created by the probe, we present a novel workflow where the robot holds the US probe on the patient during acquisition of the planning computerized tomography image, thereby ensuring that planning is performed on the deformed tissue. The robot system introduces constraints (virtual fixtures) to help to produce consistent soft tissue deformation between simulation and treatment days, based on the robot position, contact force, and reference US image recorded during simulation. This paper presents the system integration and the proposed clinical workflow, validated by an in vivo canine study. The results show that the virtual fixtures enable the clinician to deviate from the recorded position to better reproduce the reference US image, which correlates with more consistent soft tissue deformation and the possibility for more accurate patient setup and radiation delivery.
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
- interfraction repeatability
- robot-assisted radiotherapy
- ultrasound-guided radiotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering