Researchers Develop Simulation Models to Compare Treatment Planning Techniques


Key Points

  • When neurosurgeons evaluate patients for focused ultrasound brain treatments, they use treatment planning software.
  • In other fields, treatment planning software can also be used to predict the outcome of the treatment.
  • Researchers are working to add outcome predictions for focused ultrasound.

Benchmark Problems for Transcranial Ultrasound Simulation: Intercomparison of Compressional Wave Models

When neurosurgeons evaluate patients to determine whether they are good candidates for transcranial focused ultrasound treatments, they use treatment planning software. In analogous fields of therapeutic medicine (e.g., radiotherapy and radiosurgery), this software can also predict treatment outcome, and this crucial information can be provided because simulations for how ionizing particles interact with tissue is well established. The interaction of ultrasound waves with tissue is much more complex, so accurate simulations for the field of therapeutic ultrasound is still an important area of research and development.

In a coordinated effort to make large gains in this area, an international group of researchers led by Brad Treeby, PhD, at University College London sought to compare the different modeling tools and techniques that are used by treatment centers around the world. After analysis and testing, they have now published the benchmarks and comparative results.

“The next step is to validate these results with actual patient data,” said Matt Eames, PhD, Director of Extramural Research at the Foundation. “So, in conjunction with Dr. Jeff Elias at the University of Virginia, the Foundation has arranged to provide anonymized patient medical imaging data to enable this work. The University of Calgary is also contributing to the project in a similar manner.”

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