CHARLIE - Development of a method for quality assurance in focal radiotherapy of prostate cancer

Project CHARLIE is being carried out in collaboration with the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the University Medical Center Eppendorf (UKE) and the Martini-Klinik (Prostate Cancer Center Hamburg-Eppendorf) at the UKE.


Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. In many cases, radiation therapy is an alternative to surgical removal of the prostate.

In recent years, it has been investigated whether additional sparing of healthy tissue and improvement of overall survival can be achieved by targeted radiation of the tumor within the prostate (focal radiation therapy).
A challenge is posed by commonly used imaging modalities, such as computed tomography (CT) and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), which have poor contrast imaging in the prostate region and require the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop methods for quality assurance of the whole procedure in focal radiotherapy.


The aim of the project CHARLIE is to develop a method for quality assurance in focal radiotherapy of prostate carcinoma. For the clinical implementation of this technique, the integration possibilities of MRI and FGB findings into the radiation planning will be analyzed. For this purpose, the prostate lesions (pathological changes) to be irradiated will be defined on the basis of individual multi-parametric MRI images and the spatially assigned positive biopsy punctures.

Research Method

The project aims to develop an algorithm for anatomy-based contouring of the tumor region. Using the algorithm, the prostate and intraprostatic zones will be segmented according to McNeal's zone anatomy. Subsequently, the segmentation is automatically adjusted to the individual patient anatomy using elastic MRI-CT image registration so that the individual biopsy data can be matched to each prostate zone. This customized contouring of the tumor region will enable personalized, focal radiotherapy of prostate carcinoma, taking into account patient-specific information.

Finally, the application will be validated in a physical model (phantom). The prostate phantom, which has already been developed in previous work, will be adapted to perform a quality assurance of the entire procedure of individualized focal radiotherapy of prostate carcinoma. This includes, among other things, target volume definition, radiation planning, image guidance for localization of the prostate and intraprostatic lesions, and dose determination in the lesions.

Project Organisation

Principal Investigator: Marie Wegner, M.Sc.

Co-Investigator: Marie Wegner, M.Sc.

Funding and Partners

The project is funded by the Forschungszentrum Medizintechnik Hamburg (fmthh) under grant number 03fmthh2019.
The duration of the project is from January 2020 to Juni 2022.

Cooperation partners in the project are the Klinik für Strahlentherapie und Radioonkologie and the Martini-Klinik Prostatakrebszentrum Hamburg-Eppendorf at the University Medical Center Eppendorf (UKE).