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A Tool for Routine Quality Assurance of Radiotherapy Dose Calculation Software

R Popple

R Popple*, R Cardan , J Duan , X Wu , S Shen , I Brezovich , The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL


SU-E-T-27 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Dose calculation software is thoroughly evaluated when it is commissioned; however, evaluation of periodic software updates is typically limited in scope due to staffing constraints and the need to quickly return the treatment planning system to clinical service. We developed a tool for quickly and comprehensively testing and documenting dose calculation software against measured data.

Methods: A tool was developed using MatLab (The MathWorks, Natick, MA) for evaluation of dose calculation algorithms against measured data. Inputs to the tool are measured data, reference DICOM RT PLAN files describing the measurements, and dose calculations in DICOM format. The tool consists of a collection of extensible modules that can perform analysis of point dose, depth dose curves, and profiles using dose difference, distance-to-agreement, and the gamma-index. Each module generates a report subsection that is incorporated into a master template, which is converted to final form in portable document format (PDF).

Results: After each change to the treatment planning system, a report can be generated in approximately 90 minutes. The tool has been in use for more than 5 years, spanning 5 versions of the eMC and 4 versions of the AAA. We have detected changes to the algorithms that affected clinical practice once during this period.

Conclusion: Our tool provides an efficient method for quality assurance of dose calculation software, providing a complete set of tests for an update. Future work includes the addition of plan level tests, allowing incorporation of, for example, the TG-119 test suite for IMRT, and integration with the treatment planning system via an application programming interface. Integration with the planning system will permit fully-automated testing and reporting at scheduled intervals.

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