A vision system for patient positioning in radiation therapy

Salil Shukla (University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)
Colin Bradley (University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)
Wayne Beckham (BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Center, Vancouver, Canada)
Derek Wells (BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Center, Vancouver, Canada)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The paper outlines a new approach for positioning a patient on the treatment table for radiation therapy sessions. The vision approach utilizes lasers and cameras for positioning and has several advantages over the conventional methods.


The positioning is accomplished by comparison of a set of computed tomography (CT) contours (acquired from the patient) with a set of corresponding contours acquired by a 3D vision system from the same region of the patient's body. The overall positioning error calculated by the iterative closest point algorithm is used to reorient the treatment table. Various issues related to the acquisition and generation of the 3D spatial data are discussed.


Positioning is accurate and can detect small movement in the patient's position.

Research limitations/implications

Testing was done on a cast of a human torso and additional testing is required on in a hospital environment to fully test the efficiency of the approach.

Practical implications

The method merges data readily available from standard CT imaging systems and 3D imaging systems. Therefore, the additional hardware requirements are minimal. The system integrates well with existing hardware, software and treatment practices.


The method introduces a new approach to patient positioning employing a combination of sensor technologies. The approach is accurate, reliable, consumes less time and most importantly prevents the use of X‐rays for patient positioning.



Shukla, S., Bradley, C., Beckham, W. and Wells, D. (2005), "A vision system for patient positioning in radiation therapy", Sensor Review, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 261-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/02602280510620114

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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