TU-EF-304-07: Monte Carlo-Based Inverse Treatment Plan Optimization for Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy




Intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) is increasingly used in proton therapy. For IMPT optimization, Monte Carlo (MC) is desired for spots dose calculations because of its high accuracy, especially in cases with a high level of heterogeneity. It is also preferred in biological optimization problems due to the capability of computing quantities related to biological effects. However, MC simulation is typically too slow to be used for this purpose. Although GPU-based MC engines have become available, the achieved efficiency is still not ideal. The purpose of this work is to develop a new optimization scheme to include GPU-based MC into IMPT.


A conventional approach using MC in IMPT simply calls the MC dose engine repeatedly for each spot dose calculations. However, this is not the optimal approach, because of the unnecessary computations on some spots that turned out to have very small weights after solving the optimization problem. GPU-memory writing conflict occurring at a small beam size also reduces computational efficiency. To solve these problems, we developed a new framework that iteratively performs MC dose calculations and plan optimizations. At each dose calculation step, the particles were sampled from different spots altogether with Metropolis algorithm, such that the particle number is proportional to the latest optimized spot intensity. Simultaneously transporting particles from multiple spots also mitigated the memory writing conflict problem.


We have validated the proposed MC-based optimization schemes in one prostate case. The total computation time of our method was ∼5–6 min on one NVIDIA GPU card, including both spot dose calculation and plan optimization, whereas a conventional method naively using the same GPU-based MC engine were ∼3 times slower.


A fast GPU-based MC dose calculation method along with a novel optimization workflow is developed. The high efficiency makes it attractive for clinical usages.