Development of a multicentre automated model to reduce planning variability in radiotherapy of prostate cancer

Vanessa Panettieri, David Ball, Adam Chapman, Nigel Cristofaro, Janet Gawthrop, Peter Griffin, Sisira Herath, Susan Hoyle, Liam Jukes, Tomas Kron, Cathy Markham, Loretta Marr, Phillip Moloney, Flavio Nelli, Prabhakar Ramachandran, Amanda Smith, Colin J. Hornby

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: Inter-institutional studies highlighted correlation between consistent radiotherapy quality and improved overall patient survival. In treatment planning automation has the potential to address differences due to user-experience and training, promoting standardisation. The aim of this study was to evaluate implementation and clinical effect of a multicentre collaboratively-developed automated planning model for Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy/Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy of prostate. The model was built using a variety of public institutions’ clinical plans, incorporating different contouring and dose protocols, aiming at minimising their variation. Methods and materials: A model using 110 clinically approved and treated prostate plans provided by different radiotherapy centres was built with RapidPlan (RP), for use on intact and post-prostatectomy prostate cases. The model was validated, distributed and introduced into clinical practice in all institutions. To investigate its impact a total of 126 patients, originally manually inverse planned (OP), were replanned using RP without additional planner manual intervention. Target and organ-at-risk (OAR) metrics were statistically compared between original and automated plans. Results: For all centres combined and individually, RP provided plans comparable or superior to OP for all dose metrics. Statistically significant reductions with RP were found in bladder (V40Gy) and rectal (V50Gy) low doses (within 2.3% and 3.4% for combined and 4% and 10% individually). No clinically significant changes were seen for the PTV, independently of seminal vesicle inclusion. Conclusion: This project showed it is feasible to develop, share and implement RP models created with plans from different institutions treated with a variety of techniques and dose protocols, with the potential of improving treatment planning results and/or efficiency despite the original variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics and Imaging in Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

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