The research center OncoRay is jointly supported and operated by the medical faculty Carl Gustav Carus of the University of Technology Dresden, the university hospital Car Gustav Carus and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. Together with the Heidelberg Institute for radiooncology HIRO it forms the National Center for radiation research in oncology. OncoRay's vision is to improve the treatment of cancer by means of biologically individualised, technically optimised radiotherapy. Focus and strategy are aimed at preclinical and clinical translational research. Nowadays the center contains twelve complementary and closely interacting groups of scientists. A modern proton treatment site is running since 2014 that in comparison to the conventional treatment induces less toxicity in the healthy tissue and is supported by state-of-the-art imaging systems at the treatment location.

OncoRay is a clinical partner of the SPARTA-project. The OncoRay research group for high precision radiotherapy works on the project. The group formed by an interdisciplinary team of physicists, medical physicists and physicians works to evaluate new methods of high precision radiotherapy and seeks to bring these in clinical practice as soon as possible. The focus lies on the research on proton treatment (reduction of the range uncertainty, new methods for treatment planning) and therapy individualization. Furthermore the group handles studies on prognostic and predictive parameters in medical imaging to predict the therapeutic success and possible side effects of a treatment.

Within the SPARTA-project, an evaluation on the role of combined computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) for the detection of early radiation induced lung damage in fractionated radiotherapy of lung carcinoma is carried out. Therefore it is evaluated whether innovative imaging methods can help to identify radiation induced pneumonitis more precisely and in an earlier stage. In that case the treatment could be adapted to spare the healthy lung tissue even further and by that increasing the patient comfort.

Furthermore, together with LMU Munich, we evaluate the clinical benefit of a tool for dose based patient positioning for the application in the proton therapy. In contrast to the clinical routine where the geometric deviation is minimized, this tool optimizes the dosimetric differences. This method has the potential to be clinically beneficial especially in complex cases with a high number of degrees of freedom, in which the reproduction of the patient geometry before treatment is difficult.