Full Monte Carlo-Based Biologic Treatment Plan Optimization System for Intensity Modulated Carbon Ion Therapy on Graphics Processing Unit

Nan Qin, Chenyang Shen, Min Yu Tsai, Marco Pinto, Zhen Tian, Georgios Dedes, Arnold Pompos, Steve B. Jiang, Katia Parodi, Xun Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: One of the major benefits of carbon ion therapy is enhanced biological effectiveness at the Bragg peak region. For intensity modulated carbon ion therapy (IMCT), it is desirable to use Monte Carlo (MC) methods to compute the properties of each pencil beam spot for treatment planning, because of their accuracy in modeling physics processes and estimating biological effects. We previously developed goCMC, a graphics processing unit (GPU)-oriented MC engine for carbon ion therapy. The purpose of the present study was to build a biological treatment plan optimization system using goCMC. Methods and Materials: The repair-misrepair-fixation model was implemented to compute the spatial distribution of linear-quadratic model parameters for each spot. A treatment plan optimization module was developed to minimize the difference between the prescribed and actual biological effect. We used a gradient-based algorithm to solve the optimization problem. The system was embedded in the Varian Eclipse treatment planning system under a client-server architecture to achieve a user-friendly planning environment. We tested the system with a 1-dimensional homogeneous water case and 3 3-dimensional patient cases. Results: Our system generated treatment plans with biological spread-out Bragg peaks covering the targeted regions and sparing critical structures. Using 4 NVidia GTX 1080 GPUs, the total computation time, including spot simulation, optimization, and final dose calculation, was 0.6 hour for the prostate case (8282 spots), 0.2 hour for the pancreas case (3795 spots), and 0.3 hour for the brain case (6724 spots). The computation time was dominated by MC spot simulation. Conclusions: We built a biological treatment plan optimization system for IMCT that performs simulations using a fast MC engine, goCMC. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that full MC-based IMCT inverse planning has been achieved in a clinically viable time frame.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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