2021 Edelman Finalist: Memorial Sloan Kettering

Automated Radiotherapy Cancer Treatment Planning

Every year there are roughly 18 million new cancer cases, and about half are treated with radiotherapy. A successful treatment requires customization of penetrating radiation beams to kill cancerous cells without harming normal tissue and healthy organs. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has developed and applied advanced optimization tools (e.g., hierarchical constrained optimization, convex approximation, Lagrangian multipliers) resulting in a greatly improved radiotherapy treatment planning process. These automated techniques have provided treatments for more than 3,000 patients to date and are expected to ultimately impact patient care more broadly, including in resource-constrained countries. This streamlined, efficient workflow has resulted in a higher quality of patient care for numerous patients in severe pain and in urgent need of treatment.