3 years ago

End-to-end workflow for finite element analysis of tumor treating fields in glioblastomas.

Bui, Wong, Lok, San, Timmons
Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) therapy is an approved modality of treatment for glioblastoma. Patient anatomy-based finite element analysis (FEA) has the potential to reveal not only how these fields affect tumor control but also how to improve efficacy. While the automated tools for segmentation speed up the generation of FEA models, multi-step manual corrections are required, including removal of disconnected voxels, incorporation of unsegmented structures and the addition of 36 electrodes plus gel layers matching the TTFields transducers. Existing approaches are also not scalable for the high throughput analysis of large patient volumes. A semi-automated workflow was developed to prepare FEA models for TTFields mapping in the human brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pre-processing, segmentation, electrode and gel placement, and post-processing were all automated. The material properties of each tissue were applied to their corresponding mask in silico using COMSOL Multiphysics (COMSOL, Burlington, MA, USA). The fidelity of the segmentations with and without post-processing was compared against the full semi-automated segmentation workflow approach using Dice coefficient analysis. The average relative differences for the electric fields generated by COMSOL were calculated in addition to observed differences in electric field-volume histograms. Furthermore, the mesh file formats in MPHTXT and NASTRAN were also compared using the differences in the electric field-volume histogram. The Dice coefficient was less for auto-segmentation without versus auto-segmentation with post-processing, indicating convergence on a manually corrected model. An existent but marginal relative difference of electric field maps from models with manual correction versus those without was identified, and a clear advantage of using the NASTRAN mesh file format was found. The software and workflow outlined in this article may be used to accelerate the investigation of TTFields in glioblastoma patients by facilitating the creation of FEA models derived from patient MRI datasets.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6560/aa87f3

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa87f3

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