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Clarecia Rose Murray: A UWA Medical Physics Graduate with a Vision for Excellence

In this page, we are going to introduce Clarecia Rose Murray, a UWA Medical Physics masters graduate.

Clarecia is a remarkable graduate of the Master of Physics (Medical Physics) program at UWA. Her masters thesis, entitled "Intrafraction Motion during CyberKnife® Prostate SBRT: Impact of Imaging Frequency and Patient Factors", highlights her commitment to advancing medical physics. She successfully published her research results in the prestigious journal of Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, marking a significant achievement in her field.

Currently employed by the Department of Health (WA) as a Senior Data Engineer, Clarecia continues to excel in her career. Her hard work, success in achieving goals, and unwavering commitment to high-quality research have been evident throughout her journey. Clarecia is known for her excellent communication skills, perseverance, and eagerness to learn new topics, all of which contribute to her impressive professional and academic accomplishments.

Here are some comments from Clarecia’s research supervisor Adj/Prof. Martin Ebert about her performance. “Clarecia was a highly self-motivated student who initially worked with us as a trainee data analyst. Clarecia had already engaged her passion for physics and for having social impact by enrolling in the UWA Medical Physics Masters course, and was keen to combine that with the skills she was developing in data analytics. This is an amazing combination of skills and knowledge to have and Clarecia was able to engage in a very impactful project, assessing the accuracy of our radiosurgery treatments and the factors that can impact that accuracy. Clarecia was able to derive data that demonstrated how accurate our treatments were, and to provide recommendations to allow us to maintain or even increase that accuracy. This was a brilliant example of how postgraduate student research, undertaken directly in the industry environment afforded through collaboration with WA Health, was able to have an impact on patient care. Clarecia’s attitude and abilities will provide her with a rewarding career and ensure she continues to use physics and data science to have a positive impact on patients.”

Clarecia has kindly accepted to answer a few questions about her experience in the UWA Medical Physics Research Group, and has provided advice for future students.

Introduction and your current position and role:

My name is Clarecia Rose Murray and I am currently employed by the Department of Heath (WA) as a Senior Data Engineer.

What did you enjoy most about UWA, and Medical Physics research group?

I most enjoyed being a part of the UWA Medical Physics community and undertaking important research alongside like-minded people. It brought a sense of belonging and meaning to my life and career.

Can you give us your top three reasons to study Medical Physics?

  • Firstly, Physics is awesome. I honestly feel nothing could be more interesting to study than Physics.

  • Secondly, Medical Physics is a branch of Applied Physics that has a very tangible impact on people’s lives.

  • Thirdly, the Medical Physics program at UWA has a distinct path to a career and real job prospects.

How do you feel you have made a difference in your field of research?

I feel I made a difference by helping to increase our understanding of prostate motion and therefore geometric precision during SBRT treatment with Cyberknife for prostate cancer. It is my hope that my small contribution can be combined with both previous and future research to help improve treatment outcomes for patients.

What is your best advice to current students and Medical Physics applicants?

Stay curious. You will need work hard, but if you stay curious the hard work will come naturally and there will be many rewards along the way.

Here is the abstract of Clarecia’s thesis:

Purpose: To determine the relationship between imaging frequencies and prostate motion during CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer. To characterise the prostate deviation over treatment length and to investigate potential patient features that may impact patient prostate motion during treatment.

Methods: Intrafraction displacement data for 331 patients who received treatment with CyberKnife for prostate cancer were retrospectively analysed. Prostate positions were tracked with a large variation in imaging frequencies. The percent of treatment time that patients remained inside various motion thresholds for both real and simulated imaging frequencies was calculated. The prostate drift over treatment lengths of up to 25 minutes was characterised. The impact of age, weight, height, BMI, bladder volume, rectum volume and prostate volume on prostate motion was investigated.

Results: 84,920 image acquisitions over 1635 fractions were analysed. Fiducial distance travelled between consecutive images were less than 2, 3, 5, and 10 mm for 92.4%, 94.4%, 96.2%, and 97.7% of all consecutive imaging pairs respectively. All patients had 96.6% and 96.0% of prostate rotations within 3° for roll and yaw and 94.4% within 4° for pitch occurring between consecutive imaging. The mean prostate drift from the position of the first beam delivery over the patient cohort was 0.49 (2.4), 0.32 (3.4) and 0.83 (2.1) mm in the Inferior, Right and Anterior directions and 0.063 (1.2), 0.094 (2.4) and 0.041 (1.2) in the roll pitch and yaw rotations by the end of the 25th minute of treatment. No significant correlations between age, weight, height, BMI, rectal, bladder or prostate volumes and intrafraction prostate motion were observed.

Conclusions: There are several combinations of imaging intervals and movement thresholds that may be suitable for consideration during treatment planning with respect to imaging and calculation of the margin between the clinical target volume and planning target volume (CTV-to-PTV), resulting in adequate geometric coverage for approximately 95% of treatment time. Rectal toxicities, treatment duration and imaging dosage need to be considered when implementing combinations clinically.

Here is Clarecia’s recorded final research project presentation.

And a link to Clarecia’s paper.

Rose, C., Ebert, M. A., Mukwada, G., Skorska, M., & Gill, S. (2023). Intrafraction motion during CyberKnife® prostate SBRT: impact of imaging frequency and patient factors. Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, 46(2), 669-685.

We wish Clarecia all the best in her career and life.


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