Monte Carlo (MC) simulation is considered the gold standard method for radiotherapy dose calculation. However, achieving high precision requires a large number of simulation histories, which is time-consuming. The use of computer graphics processing units (GPUs) has greatly accelerated MC simulation and allows dose calculation within a few minutes for a typical radiotherapy treatment plan. However, some clinical applications demand real-time efficiency for MC dose calculation. To tackle this problem, we have developed a real-time, deep learning–based dose denoiser that can be plugged into a current GPU-based MC dose engine to enable real-time MC dose calculation. We used two different acceleration strategies to achieve this goal: 1) we applied voxel unshuffle and voxel shuffle operators to decrease the input and output sizes without any information loss, and 2) we decoupled the 3D volumetric convolution into a 2D axial convolution and a 1D slice convolution. In addition, we used a weakly supervised learning framework to train the network, which greatly reduces the size of the required training dataset and thus enables fast fine-tuning–based adaptation of the trained model to different radiation beams. Experimental results show that the proposed denoiser can run in as little as 39 ms, which is 11.6 times faster than the baseline model. As a result, the whole MC dose calculation pipeline can be finished within ∼0.15 seconds, including both GPU MC dose calculation and deep learning–based denoising, achieving the real-time efficiency needed for some radiotherapy applications, such as online adaptive radiotherapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Nov 30 2020|
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