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Microscopic Monte Carlo Simulations for RadiobiologyModeling: Advances and Challenges

J Schuemann
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I Plante
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A McNamara

Z Tian

J Schuemann1*, I Plante2*, A McNamara3*, Z Tian4*, (1) Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, (2) NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, (3) Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, (4) UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX


7:30 AM : Introduction to Monte Carlo simulations at the (sub-)cellular scale: Concept and Current Status - J Schuemann, Presenting Author
8:00 AM : RITRACK: Monte-Carlo simulation of heavy ion track structure and 3D time evolution of radiolytic species - I Plante, Presenting Author
8:30 AM : TOPAS-nBio: A toolkit for radiobiological simulations - A McNamara, Presenting Author
9:00 AM : gMicroMC: Accelerating microscopic Monte Carlo simulation using rapid parallel processing platforms - Z Tian, Presenting Author

TU-AB-205-0 (Tuesday, August 1, 2017) 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM Room: 205

Understanding the fundamental mechanism of radiation damage is of critical importance for the development of novel radio-therapeutic strategies. Examples include biological treatment plan optimization for particle beam therapy and nano-particle based radio-sensitization. The first step towards understanding the fundamental principles of radiobiology modeling at the microscopic scale is Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of the production and propagation of particles and free radicals in physical, physiochemical, and chemical stages at cellular, sub-cellular, or even molecular levels. Compared to the well known macroscopic MC particle transport simulation, e.g. for radiotherapy dose calculation, MC simulation at the microscopic level is inherently more challenging due to a large temporal scale over several orders of magnitude, complex physical and chemical process, and the many-body interaction problem in the chemical stage. Over the years, tremendous efforts have been devoted to microscopic MC simulations. Recent advancements in describing low energy physics processes as well as in computational methods and hardware have led to new solutions to tackle this challenging problem.

Despite the essential role of microscopic MC simulation in modeling fundamental radiobiology, it remains elusive to most researchers. This symposium will bring together experts to introduce microscopic MC simulation and its applications in modern radiotherapy. It will also present the state-of-the-art advancements in this area including, but not limited to, the physical description of particle generation and propagation, geometry modeling at cellular and DNA levels, as well as high-performance computing. We will discuss challenges and future directions. We hope this symposium will stimulate new research in the area of mechanistic modeling for radiobiology, using state-of-the-art simulation technologies, to help solve a wide spectrum of problems. General medical physicist audiences are expected to benefit from this symposium by learning the frontier research in this area and gaining insights on the underlying mechanism of radiotherapy and our current understanding of the effects of the initial ionization patterns on radiobiological processes.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand basic principles of microscopic Monte Carlo simulation and its role in modern radiotherapy problems.
2. Learn about the state-of-the-art developments in this area.
3. Learn about challenges in this problem and future directions.


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