WE-AB-207B-07: Dose Cloud: Generating “Big Data” for Radiation Therapy Treatment Plan Optimization Research




To provide a tool to generate large sets of realistic virtual patient geometries and beamlet doses for treatment optimization research. This tool enables countless studies exploring the fundamental interplay between patient geometry, objective functions, weight selections, and achievable dose distributions for various algorithms and modalities.


Generating realistic virtual patient geometries requires a small set of real patient data. We developed a normalized patient shape model (PSM) which captures organ and target contours in a correspondence-preserving manner. Using PSM-processed data, we perform principal component analysis (PCA) to extract major modes of variation from the population. These PCA modes can be shared without exposing patient information. The modes are re-combined with different weights to produce sets of realistic virtual patient contours. Because virtual patients lack imaging information, we developed a shape-based dose calculation (SBD) relying on the assumption that the region inside the body contour is water. SBD utilizes a 2D fluence-convolved scatter kernel, derived from Monte Carlo simulations, and can compute both full dose for a given set of fluence maps, or produce a dose matrix (dose per fluence pixel) for many modalities. Combining the shape model with SBD provides the data needed for treatment plan optimization research.


We used PSM to capture organ and target contours for 96 prostate cases, extracted the first 20 PCA modes, and generated 2048 virtual patient shapes by randomly sampling mode scores. Nearly half of the shapes were thrown out for failing anatomical checks, the remaining 1124 were used in computing dose matrices via SBD and a standard 7-beam protocol. As a proof of concept, and to generate data for later study, we performed fluence map optimization emphasizing PTV coverage.


We successfully developed and tested a tool for creating customizable sets of virtual patients suitable for large-scale radiation therapy optimization research.