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Methods and computer executable instructions for rapidly calculating simulated particle transport through geometrically modeled treatment volumes having uniform volume elements for use in radiotherapy

United States Patent

January 16, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
Methods and computer executable instructions are disclosed for ultimately developing a dosimetry plan for a treatment volume targeted for irradiation during cancer therapy. The dosimetry plan is available in "real-time" which especially enhances clinical use for in vivo applications. The real-time is achieved because of the novel geometric model constructed for the planned treatment volume which, in turn, allows for rapid calculations to be performed for simulated movements of particles along particle tracks there through. The particles are exemplary representations of neutrons emanating from a neutron source during BNCT. In a preferred embodiment, a medical image having a plurality of pixels of information representative of a treatment volume is obtained. The pixels are: (i) converted into a plurality of substantially uniform volume elements having substantially the same shape and volume of the pixels; and (ii) arranged into a geometric model of the treatment volume. An anatomical material associated with each uniform volume element is defined and stored. Thereafter, a movement of a particle along a particle track is defined through the geometric model along a primary direction of movement that begins in a starting element of the uniform volume elements and traverses to a next element of the uniform volume elements. The particle movement along the particle track is effectuated in integer based increments along the primary direction of movement until a position of intersection occurs that represents a condition where the anatomical material of the next element is substantially different from the anatomical material of the starting element. This position of intersection is then useful for indicating whether a neutron has been captured, scattered or exited from the geometric model. From this intersection, a distribution of radiation doses can be computed for use in the cancer therapy. The foregoing represents an advance in computational times by multiple factors of time magnitudes.
Frandsen; Michael W. (Helena, MT), Wessol; Daniel E. (Bozeman, MT), Wheeler; Floyd J. (Idaho Falls, ID)
Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID)
09/ 063,736
April 21, 1998
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.