Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2008 Research Summary

Robust Dosimetry for Cancer Treatment

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Laurent El Ghaoui, Ken Goldberg and Ufuk Topcu

High-dose-rate brachytherapy, a type of radiotherapy in which a radioactive source is guided through catheters temporarily implanted in the prostate, is widely used in prostate cancer treatment. Researchers from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley and the UC San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center have proposed a linear programming formulation for optimizing internal radiation delivery times. Extracting the problem data from the tests on patients involves human judgement; therefore, is prone to errors or uncertainties which may affect the outcomes of the treatment. In collaboration with researchers from UC San Francisco, we are working on identifying sensitivities to uncertainties in the problem data in order to develop a useful robust optimization formulation. Additionally, we investigate re-formulations of the problem, which may indicate a need for change in the radiation delivery method, by optimizing over the radiation delivery locations as well as the delivery times.