September 14, 2016 — RapidPlan knowledge-based treatment planning software can improve quality control in radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatment plans, according to research presented at the 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). Researchers found that using the RapidPlan tool from Varian Medical Systems helped them develop plans that improved targeting of tumors and spared more healthy tissue.
RapidPlan is a machine-learning tool that studies best practices from past successful treatment plans and creates knowledge-based treatment models that are applied to improve the treatment plans for future patients. These RapidPlan models help to quickly generate and validate new high-quality treatment plans based on shared expertise.
Kathryn Masi and Maria Ditman from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found that RapidPlan software creates consistent, efficient, quality plans while standardizing the treatment planning process. They used a prostate-specific RapidPlan model, based on 60 prostate intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans. Applying their knowledge-based planning (KBP) model to 10 patients from four community-based clinics, they found that RapidPlan could improve the quality control of smaller community-based clinics by helping them "identify the areas in their treatment plans that may be improved whether that be in normal tissue sparing or improved target coverage."1
Similar findings were reported by researchers conducting a multi-institutional phase II clinical trial sponsored by the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) for patients with uterine cervix or vaginal cancer. Using a KBP model, researchers reported that RapidPlan greatly improved plan quality assurance for IMRT pre-treatment plans.
The use of RapidPlan is expanding to other areas, including motion management for treating lung cancer during stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). Ronald Lalonde, M. Saiful Huq and Dwight Heronfrom UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, found that RapidPlan "may be a useful tool in identifying patients where motion management may be necessary for SBRT treatment."3
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