OpenKBP: The open-access knowledge-based planning grand challenge

Aaron Babier, Binghao Zhang, Rafid Mahmood, Kevin L. Moore, Thomas G. Purdie, Andrea L. McNiven. Timothy C. Y. Chan

The purpose of this work is to advance fair and consistent comparisons of dose prediction methods for knowledge-based planning (KBP) in radiation therapy research. We hosted OpenKBP, a 2020 AAPM Grand Challenge, and challenged participants to develop the best method for predicting the dose of contoured CT images. The models were evaluated according to two separate scores: (1) dose score, which evaluates the full 3D dose distributions, and (2) dose-volume histogram (DVH) score, which evaluates a set DVH metrics. Participants were given the data of 340 patients who were treated for head-and-neck cancer with radiation therapy. The data was partitioned into training (n=200), validation (n=40), and testing (n=100) datasets. All participants performed training and validation with the corresponding datasets during the validation phase of the Challenge, and we ranked the models in the testing phase based on out-of-sample performance. The Challenge attracted 195 participants from 28 countries, and 73 of those participants formed 44 teams in the validation phase, which received a total of 1750 submissions. The testing phase garnered submissions from 28 teams. On average, over the course of the validation phase, participants improved the dose and DVH scores of their models by a factor of 2.7 and 5.7, respectively. In the testing phase one model achieved significantly better dose and DVH score than the runner-up models. Lastly, many of the top performing teams reported using generalizable techniques (e.g., ensembles) to achieve higher performance than their competition. This is the first competition for knowledge-based planning research, and it helped launch the first platform for comparing KBP prediction methods fairly and consistently. The OpenKBP datasets are available publicly to help benchmark future KBP research, which has also democratized KBP research by making it accessible to everyone.

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