TH-A-19A-09: Towards Sub-Second Proton Dose Calculation On GPU




To achieve sub-second dose calculation for clinically relevant proton therapy treatment plans. Rapid dose calculation is a key component of adaptive radiotherapy, necessary to take advantage of the better dose conformity offered by hadron therapy.


To speed up proton dose calculation, the pencil beam algorithm (PBA; clinical standard) was parallelised and implemented to run on a graphics processing unit (GPU). The implementation constitutes the first PBA to run all steps on GPU, and each part of the algorithm was carefully adapted for efficiency. Monte Carlo (MC) simulations obtained using Fluka of individual beams of energies representative of the clinical range impinging on simple geometries were used to tune the PBA. For benchmarking, a typical skull base case with a spot scanning plan consisting of a total of 8872 spots divided between two beam directions of 49 energy layers each was provided by CNAO (Pavia, Italy). The calculations were carried out on an Nvidia Geforce GTX680 desktop GPU with 1536 cores running at 1006 MHz.


The PBA reproduced within ±3% of maximum dose results obtained from MC simulations for a range of pencil beams impinging on a water tank. Additional analysis of more complex slab geometries is currently under way to fine-tune the algorithm. Full calculation of the clinical test case took 0.9 seconds in total, with the majority of the time spent in the kernel superposition step.


The PBA lends itself well to implementation on many-core systems such as GPUs. Using the presented implementation and current hardware, sub-second dose calculation for a clinical proton therapy plan was achieved, opening the door for adaptive treatment. The successful parallelisation of all steps of the calculation indicates that further speedups can be expected with new hardware, brightening the prospects for real-time dose calculation.

This work was funded by ENTERVISION, European Commission FP7 grant 264552.