Feature | Treatment Planning | July 06, 2016 | Melinda Taschetta-Millane

Treatment Planning Systems Overview

This article originally ran as a chart introduction for the Treatment Planning Systems comparison chart in the July/August issue.

treatment planning system, elekta, aapm

Treatment planning systems are at the heart of radiation therapy (RT) and the key to improved patient outcomes. Once image datasets are loaded and the tumors are identified, the systems develop a complex plan for each beam line route for how the therapy system will deliver radiation. The software also computes the expected dose distribution in the patient’s tissue, including variables such as tissue energy level penetration influenced by the type of tissue the beam lines encounter (e.g., bone or lung vs. muscle). These systems also help navigate beam placement based on avoiding critical structures that are more sensitive to radiation in an effort to reduce collateral damage from the therapy. This may include automated, complex programming for multi-leaf collimator (MLC) leaf sequencing to shape the beam around critical structures during dose delivery. These treatment plans can also be modified to compensate for the reduction in tumor size over the course of treatments. 

The following overview helps paint a picture of some of the software systems currently available on the treatment planning systems market, which are highlighted in the Treatment Planning Systems comparison chart.

Accuray

The Accuray MultiPlan Treatment Planning System enables medical professionals to generate high-quality treatment plans for the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System. These flexible and individualized treatment plans can be created quickly and intuitively, resulting in fast and accurate treatment delivery. The planning is a multidisciplinary and collaborative process, requiring input from the physicist, the radiation oncologist and the surgeon. New features and enhancements in the MultiPlan System address the specific needs of each group and provide the flexibility to accommodate new clinical applications with ease. 

Elekta

Monaco version 5.11, the latest update to Elekta’s treatment planning software, was released in May. The update provides significant performance speed enhancements, and users can now attain calculation speeds up to four times faster than in previous versions. With the Monte Carlo algorithm, users can achieve robust accuracy combined with speed and performance.

Fast plan calculation time helps to improve overall efficiency, and Monaco templates enable users to easily import and export treatment plans, facilitating sharing across departments and organizations. With the ability to create multiple prescription plans at one time, overall planning time is reduced. Also, improved data sharing creates additional opportunities to optimize individual treatment plans to meet the needs of each patient.

Philips Healthcare

Philips’ Pinnacle³ is designed for small and mid-size centers as an affordable server-class system that provides access from virtually any location. The system is scalable so it can grow with a center’s needs. It can support centers with up to three linear accelerators (LINAC). Centralized processing offers all users the power of the professional server. The system is up to 30 percent faster than the older 810X platform. Floating licenses allow a Pinnacle³ user to have an unlimited number of access points, including Mac users.

RaySearch

Version 5 of the RayStation treatment planning system has been released for clinical use in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The latest version of the platform is scheduled for release in most major markets during the first half of 2016.

RayStation 5 features carbon ion treatment planning and Plan Explorer, a treatment planning tool that allows clinics to maximize delivery efficiency and plan quality for every individual patient treatment. Carbon ion therapy is a form of particle therapy that has several clinical advantages. As for other types of particle therapy, the depth of the dose deposition can be precisely controlled, which allows for improved sparing of healthy tissues. In addition, carbon ions have an increased relative biological effectiveness (RBE) compared with other types of radiation. 

Plan Explorer is a tool that is based on the capability to automatically generate a large number of treatment plans for an individual patient that span defined combinations of treatment techniques and machines. It is also an efficient way to filter and browse among plan candidates, making it possible to ensure that every radiation treatment is delivered with the highest possible efficiency, with an optimal combination of treatment technique and machine. 

RayStation 5 also features many new additions such as robust optimization based on 4-D computed tomography (CT) images and unlimited patient data storage. The inclusion of 4-D CT images in the robust optimization process addresses situations where there is significant relative motion of internal organs, such as in the thorax during free breathing.

Varian Medical Systems

Varian’s Eclipse treatment planning system allows for efficiency. Virtual simulation eliminates data transfer steps and the management of separate sets of data. Emergency treatments can be planned immediately in the simulation area. Powerful tools simplify contouring tasks and field setup, and a fast calculation engine reduces treatment planning time. Integrated plan verification and quality assurance tools speed ongoing treatment planning and beam data validation, saving time for physicists.

 

Comparison Chart for Treatment Planning Systems

This article served as an introduction for a treatment planning systems comparison chart, which can be accessed on the ITN website at  www.itnonline.com/content/treatment-planning-systems. This page requires registration, which is free and only takes a minute to complete. The chart includes technical specifications for all the major treatment planning systems on the U.S. market.

Related Content

Varian received FDA clearance for its Ethos therapy in February 2020. It is an adaptive intelligence solution that uses onboard AI in the treatment system to take the cone beam CT imaging on the system, compare it to the treatment plan and deliver an entire adaptive treatment plan in a typical 15-minute treatment time slot, from patient setup through treatment delivery.

Varian received FDA clearance for its Ethos therapy in February 2020, shown here displayed for the first time at ASTRO 2019. It is an adaptive intelligence solution that uses onboard AI in the treatment system to take the cone beam CT imaging on the system, compare it to the treatment plan and deliver an entire adaptive treatment plan in a typical 15-minute treatment time slot, from patient setup through treatment delivery.

Feature | Treatment Planning | April 03, 2020 | Dave Fornell, Editor
The traditional treatment planning process takes days to create an optimized radiation therapy delivery plan, but new
A new framework from an international team of experts aims to help protect patients and providers, and conserve protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers #COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2
News | Prostate Cancer | March 30, 2020
March 30, 2020 — In the wake of the COVID-19 pan
Women are more likely to be cured of cancer by radiotherapy but the side effects are worse.

Women are more likely to be cured of cancer by radiotherapy but the side effects are worse. Image by Mark Kostich

News | Radiation Therapy | March 30, 2020
March 30, 2020 — Women undergoing radiotherapy for
Novel scanners may open door for prognostic assessment in patients receiving cochlear implants

Iva Speck, MD, explains research showing that novel, fully digital, high-resolution positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging of small brain stem nuclei can provide clinicians with valuable information concerning the auditory pathway in patients with hearing impairment. The research is featured in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (read more at http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/current). Video courtesy of Iva Speck, University Hospital Freiburg, Germany.

News | PET-CT | March 26, 2020
March 26, 2020 — Novel, fully digital, high-resolution...
Age‐standardized, delay‐adjusted overall cancer incidence rates for 2012 through 2016 are illustrated among males and females by racial/ethnic group

Age‐standardized, delay‐adjusted overall cancer incidence rates for 2012 through 2016 are illustrated among males and females by racial/ethnic group. Racial/ethnic groups are mutually exclusive. Data for the non‐Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population are restricted to Indian Health Service Purchased/Referred Care Delivery Area (PRCDA) counties. API indicates Asian/Pacific Islander. Chart courtesy of ACS Journals 

News | Radiation Oncology | March 16, 2020
March 16, 2020 — The Ann...
Accuray Incorporated announced that Mercy Hospital St. Louis continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving patient outcomes with the installation of the first CyberKnife M6 System in Missouri at their state-of-the-art David C. Pratt Cancer Center
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | February 27, 2020
February 27, 2020 — Accuray Incorporated announced that Mercy