(Yahoo.Finance) Fujitsu Laboratories, Ltd. in collaboration with researchers at the University of Toronto (U of T) have announced the development of a technology for dramatically streamlining the creation of radiation treatment plans for Gamma Knife(1) radiosurgery, leveraging Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired computing technology, the Digital Annealer, which rapidly solves combinatorial optimization problems.
Gamma Knife radiation therapies are used to treat illnesses including brain tumors and arteriovenous malformations. The process of creating treatment plans using conventional methods is often laborious and time-consuming, and doctors must spend time making painstaking and detailed adjustments to determine how much radiation should be administered to a target while minimizing dose to surrounding tissue. With the newly developed technology, however, medical professionals can create treatment plans in roughly one minute, maintaining the same level of accuracy as conventional methods, while simultaneously calculating a huge number of possible combination patterns of where and how much dose to deliver with the Digital Annealer.
Since 2017, Fujitsu and U of T have been collaborating in a strategic partnership centered on research relating to quantum computing.
U of T researchers, through their methods and the use of Digital Annealer technology by Fujitsu, has developed the following technology to generate treatment plans at high speed while maintaining the same accuracy as treatment plans created by experienced doctors. The steps in the method are:
1. Using the physical properties of the human body (Dose Profile), the shot shape during gamma irradiation is modeled.
2. Optimization of radiation parameters using the Digital Annealer
Going forward, Fujitsu Laboratories and U of T researchers will continue to verify the effectiveness of this technology based on data from more patients, and will continue to develop technologies that offer the potential to contribute to medical science and society at large. Future potential projects include shortening the time required for Gamma Knife treatment processes themselves rather than the treatment plans, or applying this technology to other radiotherapy methods.