An Automated Quality Assurance Tool for HDR Treatment Planning
C Nelson*, K Gifford, K Kisling, E Bloom, S Kirsner, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TXSU-E-T-186 Sunday 3:00:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall
Purpose: Treatment planning for high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy requires many user inputs, all of which are potential sources of error. The goal of quality assurance (QA) is to ensure that errors are not made. In this study, we developed a software program to analyze the treatment printout from the HDR treatment planning computer and flag any suspected errors.
Methods: The treatment printout from the HDR planning computer is imported by the software. The software then performs the following checks: (1) verifies that the correct source was chosen (we have multiple in our database), (2) performs an independent decay of the Ir-192 source, (3) verifies source step size, (4) verifies the offsets and indexer lengths in the catheter definitions based upon expected values for the applicator used, (4) performs an independent 2nd check of dose to a cloud of dose points surrounding the treatment region, (5) verifies that the dose per fraction and the number of fractions were entered correctly in the planning computer, and (6) verifies that the dose volume histogram (DVH) metrics were within acceptable tolerances. The software then prints this information to a PDF file, which is appended to the original treatment printout and placed in the patient's medical record.
Results: This QA tool has now been implemented for six months in our clinic, and is a critical QA tool in our HDR program. Although each plan is checked by an independent 2nd physicist, this tool provides an additional independent check on the treatment plan.
Conclusions: A simple series of automatic 2nd checks helps reduce the risk of errors occurring in the treatment planning portion of HDR brachytherapy and can easily be implemented.