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D.G.Lewis
Department of Medical Physics
Velindre Cancer Centre
Whitchurch, Cardiff
RT-GRID:
Grid Computing for
Radiotherapy
Overview
 Radiotherapy in Context
 Dose calculation methods
 Why the Grid ?
Cancer
 DoH NHS Cancer Plan (2000)
‘More than one in three
people will develop cancer at
some stage in their lives and
one in four will die of it’.
Velindre Cancer Centre
•Serves 1.5M population of SE
Wales & beyond
•5000 new cancer referrals p.a.
•About 3000 for radiotherapy
What is Radiotherapy (RT) ?
• ‘Radiation therapy is a clinical modality
dealing with the use of ionizing radiations
in the treatment of malignant neoplasias
(and occasionally benign diseases).’
Principles and Practice of Radiation
Oncology (Perez & Brady)
Method of RT Delivery
• Predominantly External Beam Therapy
• High energy (1-20 MeV) X-ray photons and/
or electrons from linear accelerators (linacs)
RT Planning
• ‘Treatment planning is the process whereby the
therapeutic strategy of the radiation oncologist
is realised as a set of treatment instructions
together with a physical description of dose in
the patient’ (Williams and Thwaites,
Radiotherapy Physics)
• The aim is to maximise therapeutic dose to
tumour volume while minimising dose to normal
tissues & organs at risk
The Modern Era - 3D Planning
using X-Ray CT scan data
Dose Calculation Methods
• Early 1970s: computerised RT planning
using beam libraries of measured data
• Early 1990s: represent RT fields using
convolution of elemental pencil beams
• New era: Monte Carlo simulation of
radiation transport
Dose Calculation Methods
Conventional
Convolution of
pencil beams
The Future
‘Full Monte’ Carlo dose calculation
WHAT DOES THE MONTE
CARLO APPROACH INVOLVE ?
Computer
simulation of
fine details of
interactions
in complex
patient
anatomy
Why Monte Carlo ?
Effects of inhomogeneity (e.g. air spaces)
Irradiated Gel Phantom Pencil Beam Calculation
MRI Gel Dose Measurement BEAM Monte Carlo Simulation
Peter Love, PhD Thesis (UW, 2001)
Head & Neck RT
Emiliano Spezi, PhD Thesis (UW, 2003)
Convolution Monte Carlo
Full Monte Carlo Simulation
of the Radiotherapy System
RADIATION
SOURCE
PATIENT
X-RAY
VERIFICATION
PORTAL IMAGER
“Monte Carlo
Portal Dosimetry”
Mary Chin, PhD Thesis (UW,2005)
Need to simulate
with billions of
particles
MC simulation of a patient
plan can take WEEKS on a PC
let many computers
work on the same job
simultaneously
  

 


  

 


  

 


BUT- Monte Carlo is a computationally
expensive gold standard !
HIGH-THROUGHPUT COMPUTING
1. BEOWULF @ University of Surrey
2. SGI pool @ Welsh e-Science Centre
3. Non-dedicated ‘Condor’ pool of 500+ PCs
4. NGS (UK National Grid Service)
e-Science
Computer
Scientists
sort out the
computers
we take
care of
the
science
Recent Developments
 3-yr £400K EPSRC Funding from Oct’05
 ‘The Development of Monte Carlo
Techniques for Verification of Conformal
Radiotherapy using the UK e-Science Grid’
(D.W.Walker, D.G.Lewis, J.P.Giddy &
P.W.Chin)
Summary
 Our collaboration with WeSC has
already shown it is both feasible and
beneficial to utilise GRID computing
facilities for Monte Carlo in RT
 Availability of GRID computing resource
offers the prospect of implementing a
clinically useful Monte Carlo RT planning
facility on a national basis
Acknowledgements
Collaborators:
Prof. David Walker, Jonathan Giddy, Alex
Hardisty, John Oliver (WeSC)
PhD Project Funding:
Cancer Research Wales,
Yr Ysgol Uwchradd Tregaron
RT-GRID:  Grid Computing for Radiotherapy

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RT-GRID: Grid Computing for Radiotherapy

  • 1. D.G.Lewis Department of Medical Physics Velindre Cancer Centre Whitchurch, Cardiff RT-GRID: Grid Computing for Radiotherapy
  • 2. Overview  Radiotherapy in Context  Dose calculation methods  Why the Grid ?
  • 3. Cancer  DoH NHS Cancer Plan (2000) ‘More than one in three people will develop cancer at some stage in their lives and one in four will die of it’.
  • 4.
  • 5. Velindre Cancer Centre •Serves 1.5M population of SE Wales & beyond •5000 new cancer referrals p.a. •About 3000 for radiotherapy
  • 6. What is Radiotherapy (RT) ? • ‘Radiation therapy is a clinical modality dealing with the use of ionizing radiations in the treatment of malignant neoplasias (and occasionally benign diseases).’ Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology (Perez & Brady)
  • 7. Method of RT Delivery • Predominantly External Beam Therapy • High energy (1-20 MeV) X-ray photons and/ or electrons from linear accelerators (linacs)
  • 8. RT Planning • ‘Treatment planning is the process whereby the therapeutic strategy of the radiation oncologist is realised as a set of treatment instructions together with a physical description of dose in the patient’ (Williams and Thwaites, Radiotherapy Physics) • The aim is to maximise therapeutic dose to tumour volume while minimising dose to normal tissues & organs at risk
  • 9. The Modern Era - 3D Planning using X-Ray CT scan data
  • 10. Dose Calculation Methods • Early 1970s: computerised RT planning using beam libraries of measured data • Early 1990s: represent RT fields using convolution of elemental pencil beams • New era: Monte Carlo simulation of radiation transport
  • 11. Dose Calculation Methods Conventional Convolution of pencil beams The Future ‘Full Monte’ Carlo dose calculation
  • 12. WHAT DOES THE MONTE CARLO APPROACH INVOLVE ? Computer simulation of fine details of interactions in complex patient anatomy
  • 13. Why Monte Carlo ? Effects of inhomogeneity (e.g. air spaces) Irradiated Gel Phantom Pencil Beam Calculation MRI Gel Dose Measurement BEAM Monte Carlo Simulation Peter Love, PhD Thesis (UW, 2001)
  • 14. Head & Neck RT Emiliano Spezi, PhD Thesis (UW, 2003) Convolution Monte Carlo
  • 15. Full Monte Carlo Simulation of the Radiotherapy System RADIATION SOURCE PATIENT X-RAY VERIFICATION PORTAL IMAGER “Monte Carlo Portal Dosimetry” Mary Chin, PhD Thesis (UW,2005)
  • 16. Need to simulate with billions of particles MC simulation of a patient plan can take WEEKS on a PC let many computers work on the same job simultaneously                         BUT- Monte Carlo is a computationally expensive gold standard !
  • 17. HIGH-THROUGHPUT COMPUTING 1. BEOWULF @ University of Surrey 2. SGI pool @ Welsh e-Science Centre 3. Non-dedicated ‘Condor’ pool of 500+ PCs 4. NGS (UK National Grid Service) e-Science Computer Scientists sort out the computers we take care of the science
  • 18. Recent Developments  3-yr £400K EPSRC Funding from Oct’05  ‘The Development of Monte Carlo Techniques for Verification of Conformal Radiotherapy using the UK e-Science Grid’ (D.W.Walker, D.G.Lewis, J.P.Giddy & P.W.Chin)
  • 19. Summary  Our collaboration with WeSC has already shown it is both feasible and beneficial to utilise GRID computing facilities for Monte Carlo in RT  Availability of GRID computing resource offers the prospect of implementing a clinically useful Monte Carlo RT planning facility on a national basis
  • 20. Acknowledgements Collaborators: Prof. David Walker, Jonathan Giddy, Alex Hardisty, John Oliver (WeSC) PhD Project Funding: Cancer Research Wales, Yr Ysgol Uwchradd Tregaron