TH-C-BRD-05: Reducing Proton Beam Range Uncertainty with Patient-Specific CT HU to RSP Calibrations Based On Single-Detector Proton Radiography




Beam range uncertainty in proton treatment comes primarily from converting the patient's X-ray CT (xCT) dataset to relative stopping power (RSP). Current practices use a single curve for this conversion, produced by a stoichiometric calibration based on tissue composition data for average, healthy, adult humans, but not for the individual in question. Proton radiographs produce water-equivalent path length (WEPL) maps, dependent on the RSP of tissues within the specific patient. This work investigates the use of such WEPL maps to optimize patient-specific calibration curves for reducing beam range uncertainty.


The optimization procedure works on the principle of minimizing the difference between the known WEPL map, obtained from a proton radiograph, and a digitally-reconstructed WEPL map (DRWM) through an RSP dataset, by altering the calibration curve that is used to convert the xCT into an RSP dataset. DRWMs were produced with Plastimatch, an in-house developed software, and an optimization procedure was implemented in Matlab. Tests were made on a range of systems including simulated datasets with computed WEPL maps and phantoms (anthropomorphic and real biological tissue) with WEPL maps measured by single detector proton radiography.


For the simulated datasets, the optimizer showed excellent results. It was able to either completely eradicate or significantly reduce the root-mean-square-error (RMSE) in the WEPL for the homogeneous phantoms (to zero for individual materials or from 1.5% to 0.2% for the simultaneous optimization of multiple materials). For the heterogeneous phantom the RMSE was reduced from 1.9% to 0.3%.


An optimization procedure has been designed to produce patient-specific calibration curves. Test results on a range of systems with different complexities and sizes have been promising for accurate beam range control in patients.

This project was funded equally by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK) and Ion Beam Applications (Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium).