Intentional deep overfit learning (IDOL): A novel deep learning strategy for adaptive radiation therapy

Jaehee Chun, Justin C. Park, Sven Olberg, You Zhang, Dan Nguyen, Jing Wang, Jin Sung Kim, Steve Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Applications of deep learning (DL) are essential to realizing an effective adaptive radiotherapy (ART) workflow. Despite the promise demonstrated by DL approaches in several critical ART tasks, there remain unsolved challenges to achieve satisfactory generalizability of a trained model in a clinical setting. Foremost among these is the difficulty of collecting a task-specific training dataset with high-quality, consistent annotations for supervised learning applications. In this study, we propose a tailored DL framework for patient-specific performance that leverages the behavior of a model intentionally overfitted to a patient-specific training dataset augmented from the prior information available in an ART workflow—an approach we term Intentional Deep Overfit Learning (IDOL). Methods: Implementing the IDOL framework in any task in radiotherapy consists of two training stages: (1) training a generalized model with a diverse training dataset of (Formula presented.) patients, just as in the conventional DL approach, and (2) intentionally overfitting this general model to a small training dataset-specific the patient of interest ((Formula presented.)) generated through perturbations and augmentations of the available task- and patient-specific prior information to establish a personalized IDOL model. The IDOL framework itself is task-agnostic and is, thus, widely applicable to many components of the ART workflow, three of which we use as a proof of concept here: the autocontouring task on replanning CTs for traditional ART, the MRI super-resolution (SR) task for MRI-guided ART, and the synthetic CT (sCT) reconstruction task for MRI-only ART. Results: In the replanning CT autocontouring task, the accuracy measured by the Dice similarity coefficient improves from 0.847 with the general model to 0.935 by adopting the IDOL model. In the case of MRI SR, the mean absolute error (MAE) is improved by 40% using the IDOL framework over the conventional model. Finally, in the sCT reconstruction task, the MAE is reduced from 68 to 22 HU by utilizing the IDOL framework. Conclusions: In this study, we propose a novel IDOL framework for ART and demonstrate its feasibility using three ART tasks. We expect the IDOL framework to be especially useful in creating personally tailored models in situations with limited availability of training data but existing prior information, which is usually true in the medical setting in general and is especially true in ART.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-496
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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