A fully electronic intensity-modulated radiation therapy quality assurance (IMRT QA) process implemented in a network comprised of independent treatment planning, record and verify, and delivery systems

Daniel Bailey, Lalith Kumaraswamy, Matthew Podgorsak


Background. The purpose of this study is to implement an electronic method to perform and analyze intensity-modulated radiation therapy quality assurance (IMRT QA) using an aSi megavoltage electronic portal imaging device in a network comprised of independent treatment planning, record and verify (R&V), and delivery systems.

Methods. A verification plan was generated in the treatment planning system using the actual treatment plan of a patient. After exporting the treatment fields to the R&V system, the fields were delivered in QA mode with the aSi imager deployed. The resulting dosimetric images are automatically stored in a DICOM-RT format in the delivery system treatment console computer. The relative dose density images are subsequently pushed to the R&V system. The absolute dose images are then transferred electronically from the treatment console computer to the treatment planning system and imported into the verification plan in the dosimetry work space for further analysis. Screen shots of the gamma evaluation and isodose comparison are imported into the R&V system as an electronic file (e.g. PDF) to be reviewed prior to initiation of patient treatment. A relative dose image predicted by the treatment planning system can also be sent to the R&V system to be compared with the relative dose density image measured with the aSi imager.

Results. Our department does not have integrated planning, R&V, and delivery systems. In spite of this, we are able to fully implement a paperless and filmless IMRT QA process, allowing subsequent analysis and approval to be more efficient, while the QA document is directly attached to its specific patient chart in the R&V system in electronic form. The calculated and measured relative dose images can be compared electronically within the R&V system to analyze the density differences and ensure proper dose delivery to patients.

Conclusions. In the absence of an integrated planning, verifying, and delivery system, we have shown that it is nevertheless possible to develop a completely electronic IMRT QA process.

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RADIOLOGY AND ONCOLOGY, Association of Radiology and Oncology,
Zaloska 2, P.O.Box 2217, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, T/F: +386 1 5879 434, Open access on the web: ISSN 1518-3207, De Gruyter
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