Medical physicists at UT Southwestern Medical Center are finding new ways to use the speed of video game processors to promote research that is aimed at improving patient care.
In recent years, video game processors, known as graphic processing units, or GPUs, have become massively powerful as game makers support increasingly elaborate video graphics. Medical experts took note of the GPU’s rapid-fire processing. Among the pioneers seeking ways to apply the processing speed of GPUs to medical use is Dr. Steve Jiang, UT Southwestern’s new Director of the Division of Medical Physics and Engineering, and Professor and Vice Chairman of Radiation Oncology.
One practical application is reducing the time required to calculate the radiation dose delivered to a tumor during proton radiotherapy, he said. The faster video processors can reduce the time of the most complex calculation method from 70 hours to just 10 seconds.
“That’s an astonishing improvement in processing speed,” Dr. Jiang said. “We should really thank video gamers. The popularity of video games has resulted in a tool that is very beneficial for scientific computing in medicine. The quicker results mean increased convenience for patients and physicians, and translate in a significant way to better patient care,” he said.
Radiotherapy is often delivered in many treatments that can span weeks, during which time the patient’s anatomy or the tumor itself can change. Dr. Jiang’s highly efficient calculation allows for more accurate treatment plans based on daily calculations that are adapted to changes in the patient’s daily geometry (such as weight, size and shape of the tumor), as well as the healthy tissue around the tumor. With the faster processor, doctors can make calculations before each treatment, instead of re-using older data, and new calculations can make the treatments more exact, sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
“The main idea is to change the way we treat patients,” Dr. Jiang said. “If someone has a cancer, you want to treat the disease immediately and precisely. The current slower calculations require patients to wait for about a week to receive the first radiation treatment after consulting with doctors.”
Although video games may seem to offer little beyond entertainment, the consumer demand was so intense that game developers created better, faster, and cheaper processors for video games than for any other applications.
“Market forces are strong and act much quicker than federal or state research funding mechanisms,” Dr. Jiang said.
Dr. Jiang earned his doctorate in radiation therapy physics from the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine. He came to UT Southwestern in 2013 from the University of California at San Diego.
UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in North Texas and one of 66 nationwide. The Simmons Cancer Center includes 13 major cancer care programs with a focus on treating the whole patient with innovative treatments, while fostering groundbreaking basic research that has the potential to improve patient care and prevention of cancer worldwide. In addition, the Center’s education and training programs support and develop the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians.
The Latest on: Cancer patient care
via Google News
The Latest on: Cancer patient care
- LOOK: The absence of radiotherapy in Malawi leads to a large number of patients being sent to palliative careon June 11, 2021 at 10:41 pm
About 40% of cervical cancer patients in Malawi are referred to palliative care despite some of them being eligible for radiotherapy because the treatment does not exist in the country.
- New radiopharmaceutical shows therapeutic efficacy in preclinical model of ovarian canceron June 11, 2021 at 6:50 pm
Preclinical trials of a new radiopharmaceutical to treat ovarian cancer have produced successful results, dramatically limiting tumor growth and decreasing tumor mass.
- Why many stage 3 colorectal cancer patients skip chemoon June 11, 2021 at 11:14 am
As risk factors such as no health insurance and low income accumulate, colorectal cancer patients are less likely to finish chemotherapy.
- Most Older Women Do Not Meet Criteria to Stop Cervical Cancer Screeningon June 11, 2021 at 9:26 am
Most women ages 64 to 66 did not meet criteria for stopping cervical screening despite meeting clinical guidelines' age cutoff, a large retrospective study showed. Analysis of a national insurance ...
- Clinical Challenge: HER2-Positive Breast Cancer in Older Womenon June 11, 2021 at 9:01 am
The use of HER2-targeted therapy may be underused in older women, specifically those with more locally advanced disease, Roesch noted. One study of more than 1,300 Medicare beneficiaries with stage I ...
- Breast Cancer Care for the Incarceratedon June 11, 2021 at 9:00 am
All women with breast cancer deserve quality health care,” writes one survivor. “But for an incarcerated woman, that care may not come in a timely manner, if at all.” ...
- Healthy levels of vitamin D may boost breast cancer outcomeson June 11, 2021 at 12:13 am
Breast cancer patients who have adequate levels of vitamin D - the "sunshine vitamin" - at the time of their diagnosis have better long-term outcomes, a new study finds.
- Saint Luke's Cancer Institute & Patient Discovery Launches Innovative Digital Advocate For Advance Care Planningon June 10, 2021 at 5:00 am
Saint Luke's Hospital Koontz Center for Advanced Breast Cancer is launching an online platform intended to engage patients with advance care planning.
- Free UK Tool Could Help Guide COVID Care for Cancer Patientson June 7, 2021 at 10:56 pm
A team of UK researchers has developed an online tool that accurately predicts whether or not a cancer patient with COVID-19 will need oxygen and their mortality risk.
- Blood donations needed as cancer patients resume careon June 5, 2021 at 6:00 am
The Red Cross is seeing strong demand for blood products, including platelets, by hospitals, causing concern for the sufficiency of the blood supply this month and throughout the summer.
via Bing News