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Image Reconstruction Software Using Proton Computed Tomography (pCT)

Project Lead: Nicholas Karonis, Computer Science

Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment that uses protons as agents for delivering dose. Because of the proton’s physical properties, dose delivery can be high directed or localized to organs of interest. In order to utilize fully this potential capability for target-dose delivery, it is necessary to have a priori knowledge of how a proton loses (or deposits) its energy as it traverses material media. The characteristics of the energy deposition depend on the size and general non-homogeneous electron density of the medium. Proton energy deposition is quantified by relative stopping power (RSP).

Proton computed tomography (pCT) is an imaging modality that has been developed to support targeted dose delivery in proton therapy. It aims to accurately map the distribution of RSP values within a patient’s body. Because protons travel through the body in non-linear paths, pCT requires individual proton processing, and therefore, the software to reconstruct the RSP values from the collection of many proton’s paths becomes is time consuming. Clinical-use scenarios that require images from billions of protons in less than ten minutes motivate the use of high-performance computing.