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A Methodology for Generating Numerical Phantoms for Radiation Therapy Using Geometric Attribute Distribution Models

S Dolly

S Dolly*, H Chen , S Mutic , M Anastasio , H Li , Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO


TH-CD-202-7 (Thursday, August 4, 2016) 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Room: 202

Purpose: A persistent challenge for the quality assessment of radiation therapy treatments (e.g. contouring accuracy) is the absence of the known, ground truth for patient data. Moreover, assessment results are often patient-dependent. Computer simulation studies utilizing numerical phantoms can be performed for quality assessment with a known ground truth. However, previously reported numerical phantoms do not include the statistical properties of inter-patient variations, as their models are based on only one patient. In addition, these models do not incorporate tumor data. In this study, a methodology was developed for generating numerical phantoms which encapsulate the statistical variations of patients within radiation therapy, including tumors.

Methods: Based on previous work in contouring assessment, geometric attribute distribution (GAD) models were employed to model both the deterministic and stochastic properties of individual organs via principle component analysis. Using pre-existing radiation therapy contour data, the GAD models are trained to model the shape and centroid distributions of each organ. Then, organs with different shapes and positions can be generated by assigning statistically sound weights to the GAD model parameters. Organ contour data from 20 retrospective prostate patient cases were manually extracted and utilized to train the GAD models. As a demonstration, computer-simulated CT images of generated numerical phantoms were calculated and assessed subjectively and objectively for realism.

Results: A cohort of numerical phantoms of the male human pelvis was generated. CT images were deemed realistic both subjectively and objectively in terms of image noise power spectrum.

Conclusion: A methodology has been developed to generate realistic numerical anthropomorphic phantoms using pre-existing radiation therapy data. The GAD models guarantee that generated organs span the statistical distribution of observed radiation therapy patients, according to the training dataset. The methodology enables radiation therapy treatment assessment with multi-modality imaging and a known ground truth, and without patient-dependent bias.

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