IP protection




Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
In the field of radiotherapy, several commercial or non-commercial Radiation Treatment Planning System (RTPS) are on the market (a list is even reported by Wikipedia). RTPSs are used to plan the geometric and radiological aspects of the therapy using some simulation models. The radiotherapy system is programmed using the output of the procedure.

Based on the experience of the CRO, the treatment planning require some preliminary calculations of the dose.   On the web can be found a simple free tool missing some functions as: managing the changes in the number of fractions or unpredicted interruptions/delays in planned treatments, providing a database of radio-biological parameters according to selected tumor or organ at risk, speeding-up reporting of the calculated dose providing also literature references.

The software program developed by CRO allow the calculation of the dose overcoming the missing features described above.






What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
Currently, physicians supporting the medical team are often making calculations by spreadsheets and manually searching data form the available literature. One of the issues to face is that the total dose is fractionated (spread out over time) and  the time influences the dose calculated.  The procedure is a bit intricate and may lead to accidental errors.

Taking advantage of the accumulated knowledge (the scientific value of the result), the program developed by CRO automates some iterations that are not covered by known planning systems.






What is the potential for further research?
The potential is related to the possibility of enriching the database of radio-biological parameters by upcoming publications and  keeping track of the results of the treatments, in other words accumulating and sharing experience with other users. From this viewpoint, a user/developer interaction may provide a way of adding value to the tool.






What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
At the moment, the only envisaged method is the copyright. On the other hand, something to be investigated (internally to the institution) is the suitability of creative commons or science commons copyright mechanisms to allow copyright and sharing issues to coexist.







What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
Copyright protection by the registration of the software on the Public Register for computer programs has a cost starting from 120 €.

A similar level of protection can be made by the researcher by sending the software description and the software itself on a CD in a closed envelop by certified mail to himself. The stamp certifies the date of release of the software and can be used against claims of originality or to claim originality.







What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
The result is almost ready to be deployed. Some issues about the product/service business model have to be still considered. Some synergies are related to the potential co-operation with similar institutions to accumulate data and build a database with information coming from the user’s experiences.







Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Scientific maturity       X  
Synergies       X  
State-of-the-art/innovation     X    
IPR-potential     X    




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