A radiation beam treatment is visualized here in the first in human use of the technique. The blue represents the treatment area. As the dose fades the treatment area becomes a dark gray shadow. The lingering blue in the lower right hand area of the image shows a “hot spot” in the treatment area where adjustments can be made to avoid skin irritation.
As a first step, engineers at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth modified a regular camera with a night vision scope to take photos of radiation beams as they passed through water. What appeared on the photos is the Cherenkov effect, a luminescent blue glow. To refine the approach for use in radiation treatment, scientists used a mannequin of the human body. They measured and studied the results to refine their ability to capture the luminescence, experimenting with beam size, position, and wavelength.
Dartmouth engineering Ph.D. candidate Adam Glaser talks about his research in Cherenkov fluorescence medical imaging. His advisor is Brian Pogue—Professor of Engineering, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Professor of Surgery at Geisel School of Medicine.