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Fujitsu, U&T Researchers to Develop Tech for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Fujitsu Laboratories has formed a partnership with researchers at the University of Toronto (U of T) to develop a technology for dramatically streamlining the creation of radiation treatment plans for Gamma Knife radiosurgery, leveraging Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired computing technology, the Digital Annealer, which rapidly solves combinatorial optimization problems.


Overview of Gamma Knife Therapy

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 the 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.


Going forward, Fujitsu Laboratories and U of T researchers will continue to test the effectiveness of this technology based on additional patient data, and ultimately develop technologies that actively contribute to the improvement of medical science and society at large.


Gamma Knife surgery is used to treat brain tumors and other conditions because of its relative non-invasiveness and highly precise method of delivery of radiation. By using 192 different sources of gamma radiation aimed at different points, the dose to the affected area can be maximized while the dose to the surrounding healthy organs is kept very low.


Recent years have witnessed the emergence of new tools to help ease this process—for instance, software that automates the generation of treatment plans. In the field, however, it often remains the case that the generated plan still requires clinicians to manually modify and adjust the plans.


Since 2017, Fujitsu and U of T have been collaborating in a strategic partnership centered on research relating to quantum computing.


With this latest initiative, the parties have collaborated in the development of technology to help apply the use of the Digital Annealer for the generation of treatment plans for Gamma Knife therapies.


Researchers at U of T and its medical institutions studied and developed methods to translate the Gamma Knife optimization to combinatorial optimization, a format understandable by the Digital Annealer technology developed by Fujitsu.


Aishwarya Saxena

A book geek, with creative mind, an electronics degree, and zealous for writing.Creativity is the one thing in her opinion which drove her to enter into editing field. Allured towards south Indian cuisine and culture, love to discover new cultures and their customs. Relishes in discovering new music genres.

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