SU-F-J-214: Dose Reduction by Spatially Optimized Image Quality Via Fluence Modulated Proton CT (FMpCT)




Proton CT (pCT) is a promising imaging modality for reducing range uncertainty in image-guided proton therapy. Range uncertainties partially originate from X-ray CT number conversion to stopping power ratio (SPR) and are limiting the exploitation of the full potential of proton therapy. In this study we explore the concept of spatially dependent fluence modulated proton CT (FMpCT), for achieving optimal image quality in a clinical region of interest (ROI), while reducing significantly the imaging dose to the patient.


The study was based on simulated ideal pCT using pencil beam (PB) scanning. A set of 250 MeV protons PBs was used to create 360 projections of a cylindrical water phantom and a head and neck cancer patient. The tomographic images were reconstructed using a filtered backprojection (FBP) as well as an iterative algorithm (ITR). Different fluence modulation levels were investigated and their impact on the image was quantified in terms of SPR accuracy as well as noise within and outside selected ROIs, as a function of imaging dose. The unmodulated image served as reference.


Both FBP reconstruction and ITR without total variation (TV) yielded image quality in the ROIs similar to the reference images, for modulation down to 0.1 of the full proton fluence. The average dose was reduced by 75% for the water phantom and by 40% for the patient. FMpCT does not improve the noise for ITR with TV and modulation 0.1.


This is the first work proposing and investigating FMpCT for producing optimal image quality for treatment planning and image guidance, while simultaneously reducing imaging dose. Future work will address spatial resolution effects and the impact of FMpCT on the quality of proton treatment plans for a prototype pCT scanner capable of list mode data acquisition. Acknowledgement: DFG-MAP

DFG - Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP)