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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.


 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.
[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).]