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Milestones

UNC has spearheaded many innovations, applied techniques in novel ways -- like Volume Rendering for CT/MR images -- and, with a few other University-based groups, generally invented External Beam RTP Systems as we know them today.  Industry followed, with leap frogs in technology such as CyberKnife, Calypso tracking, vision-RT, Tomotherapy, Arc therapy, MIMvista, Velocity, Morphormics, and many, many others.

Year

 UNC Innovation

Effect on Industry 

1984 UNC was among the earliest research groups to investigate 3D graphics in the user interface
[Pizer 1984, 1986; Chaney 1985; Mosher 1988; Levoy 1990; Fishman 1991]
Such displays are now standard 
1987 UNC invented the Adaptive Histogram Equalization image contrast enhancement technique.
[Pizer 1987]
A standard technique used in image processing that is quite useful when viewing medical images, especially low contrast port images. A slew of variants followed, such as Contrast-Limited (CLAHE).
1987 UNC was the earliest research group to specify, develop and clinically evaluate virtual simulation
[Mosher 1987; Sherouse 1987, 1990b, 1991; Rosenman 1991; Sailer 1992]
Virtual simulation is now standard practice in the clinical setting.
1989 UNC’s early clinic-friendly user-guided image segmentation tool kit was freely distributed.
[Mills 1989; Tracton 1992]
Directly incorporated into several current-day commercial treatment planning systems 
1990 Digitally reconstructed radiography (DRR) is a core component of virtual simulation. UNC published the first algorithm for computing DRRs and described their use in the beam’s-eye-view (BEV) window including embedded display of graphical data such as beam apertures and rendered anatomical structures.
[Sherouse 1990; Chaney 1995]
The UNC DRR algorithm still is the basic standard for research and commercial systems
1995 IMRT planning
[Sha X. Chang, Timothy J. Cullip, Julian G. Rosenman, Per H. Halvorsen, Joel E. Tepper. Dose Optimization via Index-Dose Gradient Minimization. Medical Physics Vol. 29(6), pp/1130-1146, 2002]
 
1995 Compensator-IMRT
[Sha X Chang, Timothy J. Cullip, and Katharin Deschesne. Intensity modulation techniques: “Step & Shoot” MLC Auto-Sequence versus the Use of a Modulator, Medical Physics, Vol. 27(5), pp. 948-959, 2000.]
 
1993 UNC published the first application of Digitally Reconstructed Fluoroscopy (DRF)
[Cullip 1993]. 
DRF has become standard for research and commercial systems.
1994 UNC performed the first Monte Carlo study leading to the multiple-source model for significantly improving the accuracy of calculating dose from x-ray beams produced by linear accelerators
[Chaney 1994]. 
Multiple-source models are now standard for research and commercial systems.
2002 MLC-IMRT
[Larry Potter, Sha Chang, Timothy Cullip, Alfredo Siochi. Quality and Efficiency Analysis of the IMFAST ™ Segmentation Algorithm in Head and Neck “Step & Shoot” IMRT treatment, Medical Physics Vol. 29(3), pp. 275-283 (2002).]
 
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