Presently there is no universally effective treatment for patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC) [1, 2]. Image-guided interstitial photodynamic therapy (I-PDT) is considered one of the most promising treatment modalities [3-8].
I-PDT for LA-HNSCC is performed by inserting an array of laser light sources into the tumor, in the form of catheter-embedded fiber optics, powered by an external source. The emitted light propagates through the tissue to trigger a sequence of chemical reactions with an intravenously introduced light-sensitive drug, known as a photosensitizer (PS). It is the interaction between light and PS that ultimately leads to cell death. The accumulative effect of the light over time controls the rate of cell death, where its quantity is referred to as the light dose . Ideally, a light-source layout would be selected such that the light dosage is maximized within the target region (the tumor) while minimizing the light exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue. I-PDT for LA-HNSCC often involves the application of multiple light sources.
We have recently demonstrated that image-based finite element method (FEM) can be used for pretreatment planning to calculate the optimal placement of light sources within the tumor during I-PDT, in near real-time (Oakley et al. 2015) . However, in treating LA-HNSCC, the remaining challenge is to implement the treatment planning.
The Shafirstein laboratory developed a new modality for image-guided I-PDT. In this project, the senior design students will test this new technique by developing and building phantoms that mimic LA-HNSCC amenable for I-PDT.
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Student Skill-Set Needed: Undergraduate Senior in the Biomedical Engineering Department
Compensation: Credit for Biomedical Engineering Senior Capstone Design Course
Available: Fall, Spring
For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:
Faculty Member: Dr. Gal Shafirstein
Title: Select a Title
Affiliation: Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Department: Biomedical Engineering