Dr. Lam's research has been involved with improving patient/tumor imaging and also treatment delivery. Image intensifier/television and screen-film systems used in radiology at the time he began his research had limited dynamic range. As a result, image details in some part of the images were more difficult to appreciate. Dr. Lam was the principal investigator in studies on the development of special hardware to reduce the dynamic range of the image so that the image can better match the capability of the imaging device. The same principle can be applied to modern detectors.
Patient setup variations from session to session during multi-fraction radiotherapy is a significant factor in the requirement of expansion of treatment volume from the clinical target volume to a larger planning target volume. Dr. Lam was the principal investigator in studies on improving the automatic determination of patient setup errors with markers and using statistical methods in the correction of setup errors based on imaging. A simplified version of the statistical methods helped guide the establishment of setup error correction protocols for patient treatments.
The understanding of the dependence of the dose delivered to the patient on the collimator setting of x-ray treatment machines is essential in the calculation of how long the treatment machine needs to be turned on for the delivering of the treatment. Dr. Lam led studies in the improvement of the modeling of the treatment machine and methods to measure the contributing factors. Parts of these were used in published practice guidelines.