Personalized Radiotherapy Design for Glioblastoma: Integrating Mathematical Tumor Models, Multimodal Scans, and Bayesian Inference

Jana Lipkova*, Panagiotis Angelikopoulos, Stephen Wu, Esther Alberts, Benedikt Wiestler, Christian Diehl, Christine Preibisch, Thomas Pyka, Stephanie E. Combs, Panagiotis Hadjidoukas, Koen Van Leemput, Petros Koumoutsakos, John Lowengrub, Bjoern Menze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly invasive brain tumor, whose cells infiltrate surrounding normal brain tissue beyond the lesion outlines visible in the current medical scans. These infiltrative cells are treated mainly by radiotherapy. Existing radiotherapy plans for brain tumors derive from population studies and scarcely account for patient-specific conditions. Here, we provide a Bayesian machine learning framework for the rational design of improved, personalized radiotherapy plans using mathematical modeling and patient multimodal medical scans. Our method, for the first time, integrates complementary information from high-resolution MRI scans and highly specific FET-PET metabolic maps to infer tumor cell density in GBM patients. The Bayesian framework quantifies imaging and modeling uncertainties and predicts patient-specific tumor cell density with credible intervals. The proposed methodology relies only on data acquired at a single time point and, thus, is applicable to standard clinical settings. An initial clinical population study shows that the radiotherapy plans generated from the inferred tumor cell infiltration maps spare more healthy tissue thereby reducing radiation toxicity while yielding comparable accuracy with standard radiotherapy protocols. Moreover, the inferred regions of high tumor cell densities coincide with the tumor radioresistant areas, providing guidance for personalized dose-escalation. The proposed integration of multimodal scans and mathematical modeling provides a robust, non-invasive tool to assist personalized radiotherapy design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8654016
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1875-1884
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Bayesian inference
  • Glioblastoma
  • multimodal medical scans
  • Radiotherapy planning


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