Realtime light dosimetry software tools for interstitial photodynamic therapy of the human prostate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of prostate cancer has been demonstrated to be a safe treatment option capable of inducing tissue destruction and decreasing prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. However, prostate-PDT results in large intra- and interpatient variations in treatment response, possibly due to biological variations in tissue composition and short-term response to the therapeutic irradiation. Within our group, an instrument for interstitial PDT on prostate tissue has been developed that combines therapeutic light delivery and monitoring of light transmission via numerous bare-ended optical fibers. Here, we present algorithms that utilize data on the light distribution within the target tissue to provide realtime treatment feedback based on a light dose threshold model for PDT. This realtime dosimetry module is implemented to individualize the light dose and compensate for any treatment-induced variations in light attenuation. More specifically, based on the light transmission signals between treatment fibers, spatially resolved spectroscopy is utilized to assess the effective attenuation coefficient of the tissue. These data constitute input to a block-Cimmino optimization algorithm, employed to calculate individual fiber irradiation times provided the requirement to deliver a predetermined light dose to the target tissue while sparing surrounding sensitive organs. By repeatedly monitoring the light transmission signals during the entire treatment session, optical properties and individual fiber irradiation times are updated in realtime. The functionality of the algorithms is tested on diffuse light distribution data simulated by means of the finite element method (FEM). The feasibility of utilizing spatially resolved spectroscopy within heterogeneous media such as the prostate gland is discussed. Furthermore, we demonstrate the ability of the block-Cimmino algorithm to discriminate between target tissue and organs at risk (OAR). Finally, the realtime dosimetry module is evaluated for treatment scenarios displaying spatially and temporally varying light attenuation levels within the target tissue. We conclude that the realtime dosimetry module makes it possible to deliver a certain light dose to the target tissue despite spatial and temporal variations of the target tissue optical properties at the therapeutic wavelength.


  • Ann Johansson
  • Johan Axelsson
  • Stefan Andersson-Engels
  • Johannes Swartling
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biophysics


  • Radiometry: instrumentation, Prostatic Neoplasms: radiotherapy, Prostatic Neoplasms: pathology, Photochemotherapy: instrumentation, Photochemotherapy: methods, Radiometry: methods, Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted: methods
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4309-4321
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch