Speeding innovation for industry
Technologies for healthcare
Researchers at List, a CEA Tech institute, developed a particle transport code that uses the Monte Carlo method. The goal is to simulate the dose of radiation received by patients during radiation therapy and medical imaging. To ensure optimal control of the simulation code in both technical terms (physical models and geometries) and in legal terms (licensing), the researchers developed a new code called Phoebe (PHOton and Electron Beams).
They used the validated physical models from Penelope, the Monte Carlo code most often used in radiation therapy, as the starting point for the new code, which was written in a programming language that is more portable and modular. For instance, because of the programming language chosen, Phoebe can be used on all operating systems, from PCs to smartphones. And, because Phoebe is modular, new features can be integrated later on. In fact, Phoebe was recently given a model to simulate physical phenomena at a cellular scale used to determine how a patient will respond to radiation-therapy-enhancing nanoparticle injections. List engineers are currently developing new models to factor in the entire dose received by the patient during a radiation treatment, including in areas far away from the tumor.
Phoebe came through laboratory validation testing with flying colors and the technology is mature enough at this stage for the models to be made available to a broad community of users via an open source platform.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.