The research activity of the Laboratory of Medical Physics has been done in cooperation with the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH), the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT) and the Finnish Centre for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (STUK). The main interests are focused on boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), patient dosimetry in diagnostics and treatments, medical imaging applications, and modeling of physiological and biological systems for clinical studies.

The clinical Phase I trials of glioma patients at the Finnish BNCT research reactor FiR 1 has started in May 1999. During the trials the absorbed doses to the head and body have been verified in vivo using thermoluminescent (TL) detectors. There has been co-operation with BNCT researchers from ITN (the Nuclear and Technological Institute, Sacavém, Portugal) and BU (the University of Birmingham). The European project "A code of practice for the dosimetry of BNCT in Europe" is one step towards the standards in BNCT dosimetry. The Laboratory of Medical Physics together with STUK and VTT has an important role in the project supported by EU. In order to optimize the BNC-treatment the kinetics of boron after BPA-fructose complex infusion has been modeled. The work has been done in cooperation with the Medical Department of the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

New MRI techniques (magnetization transfer and spin lock) have been studied. The study has been performed in vitro and in vivo in normal and in brain tumor patients. The results show that the techniques offer potentially new methods to improve tissue characterization and contrast in MR imaging.

Combined MR imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and EEG technique were applied to study neuronal connectivity of the normal brain. The results indicate the potential of this method in investigation of reorganization of white matter neural tracts in neurological disease.

The Laboratory of Medical Physics has been financed by the EU, the Academy of Finland, the University of Helsinki, the State Subsidy for University Hospitals, a research grant of the Departments of Radiology and Neurology (Helsinki University Central Hospital), TEKES, the Finnish Society of Nuclear Medicine and the Finnish Society of Radiology which are gratefully acknowledged.

Sauli Savolainen