Research Team Of The Month – Medical Physics

There’s a lot of work being conducted at the Medical Physics Unit. Despite this work spanning across seven different research areas, each with its own focus and specialty, the goal is essentially the same: to use clinical research to help improve radiation oncology treatment and consequently improve patient outcomes.

Group leader, Associate Professor, Lois Holloway explains that one of the fastest growing projects is the data mining and machine learning project.

“The project utilises an approach which links data from patient treatments between cancer clinics, nationally and internationally. This data is then used to create algorithms which can help to predict patient treatment outcomes. This can then assist doctors and patients to select the most appropriate treatment,” A/Professor Holloway explains.

In the MRI and image segmentation areas, researchers are examining imaging to most effectively individualise patient treatment.

“We’re looking at imaging to be able to see physiological and biological information on where we should most effectively be delivering radiation and hopefully detect earlier patient outcomes. That is, by looking for particular imaging markers, we can tell if there are going to be significant side-effects so we can change the way we’re treating the cancer,” says A/Professor Holloway.

The most exciting part of being involved in the Medical Physics research unit  Holloway explains, is its real-life applicability in cancer clinics.

“It is exciting to see the impact our work is having on patient treatment effectiveness and in enabling more advanced treatment approaches.”

By Linda Music