Radiation dosimetry

X-ray is ionizing electromagnetic radiation, therefore being potentially dangerous for the subjects who undergo an x-ray-based medical imaging exam. Although the risk of damage to the human body (for example, by inducing the development of cancer) is very small and it might be non-existent, it must be taken into account and minimized as much as possible. This is especially important for those modalities that are used for screening of the general population. For example, during breast cancer screening, about 99% of women getting a screening mammographic exam actually do not have breast cancer, a fact that creates the imperative need to reduce the radiation dose delivered during such an exam. This can be addressed by developing accurate and personalized estimates of the radiation dose involved, which would provide accurate data that could be used for building screening dose registries and for informing breast cancer screening recommendations. This could also potentially result in an increase in screening adherence, yielding both a reduction in cancer mortality and an increase in local treatment options. Furthermore, accurate personalized dose estimates will also allow for enhanced on-going quality control with automated analysis of the imaging techniques used by each screening site. Within our research group, we are performing extensive measurements with different dosimeters in monoenergetic and polyenergetic setups, developing and validating Monte Carlo codes for breast dosimetry simulations, and developing physical phantoms for breast dose quality control procedures. As part of this work, we are leading the international effort for re-defining the methods used to estimate breast dose during x-ray based breast imaging, undertaken by the joint American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the European Federation for Organizations of Medical Physics (EFOMP) Task Groups/Workgroups 282 and 323.


Projects

Development of physical phantoms for breast dose quality control procedures
Development of physical phantoms for breast dose quality control procedures For evaluation of breast dosimetry in quality control (QC) procedures in digital mammography (DM) and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), a practical and reproducible method using phantoms is required. More...
Development of a new universal breast dosimetry methodology
Development of a new universal breast dosimetry methodology Mammography is the reference technology for early detection of breast cancer; millions of women undergo mammography examinations every year both for screening and diagnosis. More...