Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center in the US have developed a robotic tumor tracking technique which can improve cancer treatment.

The 4D, robotic technique predicts and continuously track tumor motion duration radiotherapy, which can help minimize the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue and maximize the dose to the tumor.

The technique uses prediction algorithms to predict tumor motion and to compensate errors due to delay in the system response.

In a study, when the new technique was used and tumor motion was up to 1.5cm, irradiated planning target volume (PTV) was 20 to 30 % less for medium size tumors and more than 50% for small size tumors.

Study author Yan Yu said the study findings suggest that the use of tumor tracking technology during radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer would result in significant reduction in dose to the healthy tissue, potentially decreasing the side effects.