Towards Real-Time Monte Carlo for Biomedical Problems

Jerome Spanier
University of California, Irvine

The quest for the holy grail of Monte Carlo - real-time Monte Carlo methods - was stimulated in the 1990s at Los Alamos in its "MCNP for the 21st century" challenge. Notable progress has been made, much of it driven by the need for photorealism in animated film and electronic game industries. However, achievements fail to provide "gold standard" simulations for use in biomedical applications. We will describe a promising approach taken recently at UCI and offer evidence of its potential value in achieving real-time simulation that is transport-rigorous. Such an achievement would be of great value for "see, diagnose and treat" screening protocols for early stage cancer diagnostics. This is the ultimate goal of a six year collaboration between UCI and Los Alamos, led by a biophysicist there who is an expert in cervical cancer. If successful, the method could also be applied to other cancer screening protocols.