Dose calculation in proton therapy using a discovery cross‐domain generative adversarial network (DiscoGAN)
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PURPOSE: Accurate dose calculation is a critical step in proton therapy. A novel machine learning-based approach was proposed to achieve comparable accuracy to that of Monte Carlo simulation while reducing the computational time. METHODS: Computed tomography-based patient phantoms were used and three treatment sites were selected (thorax, head, and abdomen), comprising different beam pathways and beam energies. The training data were generated using Monte Carlo simulations. A discovery cross-domain generative adversarial network (DiscoGAN) was developed to perform the mapping between two domains: stopping power and dose, with HU values from CT images incorporated as auxiliary features. The accuracy of dose calculation was quantitatively evaluated in terms of mean relative error (MRE) and mean absolute error (MAE). The relationship between the DiscoGAN performance and other factors such as absolute dose, beam energy and location within the beam cross-section (center and off-center lines) was examined. RESULTS: The DiscoGAN model is found to be effective in dose calculation. For the abdominal case, the MRE is found to 1.47% (mean), 3.30% (maximum) and 0.67% (minimum). For the thoracic case, the MRE is found to ~2.43% (mean), 4.80% (maximum) and 0.71% (minimum). For the head case, the MRE is found to ~2.83% (mean), 4.84% (maximum) and 1.01% (minimum). Comparable accuracy is found in the independent validation dataset (different CT images), achieving a mean MRE of ~1.65% (thorax), 4.02% (head) and 1.64% (abdomen). For the energy span between 80 and 130 MeV, no strong dependency of accuracy on beam energy is found. The results imply that no systematic deviation, either over-dose or under-dose, occurs between the predicted dose and raw dose. CONCLUSION: The DiscoGAN framework demonstrates great potential as a tool for dose calculation in proton therapy, achieving comparable accuracy yet being more efficient relative to Monte Carlo simulation. Its comparison with the pencil beam algorithm (PBA) will be the next step of our research. If successful, our proposed approach is expected to find its use in more advanced applications such as inverse planning and adaptive proton therapy.
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