A article in Medical Daily reports that researchers at the University of California, San Diego have devised a computational technique that allow them to reduce X-ray radiation doses by a factor of ten or more for tumor analysis. The approach uses GPUs — NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPUs in this case — to reconstruct an accurate image of a tumor with fewer CT scans.
CT scans are used to generate the image of tumors prior to cancer treatment — image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). The problem is that repeated CT scans during a therapy regime raises the cumulative radiation dose, which worries physicians and patients. Reducing the X-ray projections, in both number and strength, can reduce exposure, but the images produced need compute-intensive reconstruction to produce an accurate picture of the tumor. Since the CT scanning is done during treatment setup, you need fast turnaround. That’s where the GPUs come in.
With only 20 to 40 total number of X-ray projections and 0.1 mAs per projection, the team achieved images clear enough for image-guided radiation therapy. The reconstruction time ranged from 77 to 130 seconds on an NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU card, depending on the number of projections –– an estimated 100 times faster than similar iterative reconstruction approaches.