Development of a phantom to assess the effect of radiation transport on glandular dose distribution for cancer epidemiology studies
What Problem does this research project aim to solve:
The human breast is basically composed of adipose and glandular tissues. The glandular tissue is termed radiosensitive because of its susceptibility to carcinogenesis. Mammography, which is the standard breast screening procedure, has the ability to deposit radiation energy/dose on the breast tissue; this dose is called the Mean Glandular Dose (MGD). MGD is a factor of the glandular content and compressed breast thickness and thus the distribution of the glandular tissue has a major effect on the estimation of MGD. There is lack of awareness/understanding of the effect of the distribution of the glandular tissue on radiation dose, hence no guidelines for protocol optimization. Therefore, the aim of this research is to develop a phantom that will model different breast types for different categories of women (young girls at puberty, pregnant women/nursing mothers, women of menopausal age, women with breast cancer lesions) to assess the radiation transport as well as estimate the MGD.
The research goals and objectives:
The specific objectives of this research are:
- To determine the mean glandular dose for different age groups of women across Nigeria.
- Develop a novel algorithm and model breast phantoms to simulate radiation transport for the estimation of MGD using EGSnrc Monte Carlo code software.
- Construction of various breast phantoms of different breast densities and compressed breast thickness to estimate the glandular dose distribution and how they respond to radiation transport.
- Validation of constructed phantoms with homogenous ACR phantoms.
- To determine at which level, radiation to the glandular tissue can cause lethal damage/cancer effects.
- To develop a nomogram for protocol optimization that will help medical practitioners to determine the parameters to use for breast investigation.
- To estimate the potential effects and epidemiology of breast x-ray investigation among Nigerian women.
The project’s significant contributions:
- Develop a protocol guideline for mammography screening
- Develop breast phantoms tailored to heterogenous distribution of typical breast for African women to be used for future research purposes.
- Develop novel algorithm to model epidemiological transition of breast cancer among Nigerian women.