Research

Automated Brachytherapy Treatment Planning

High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy planning is conventionally performed in a manual fashion. It suffers from limitations such as time-consuming, error-prone, and plan quality variation depending on planner’s experience. The complexity of treatment planning process also reduces the wide use of HDR. Hence, it is highly desirable to perform computerized automated planning to overcome these problems.

We have developed a web-based HDR QA system for typical HDR treatment such as tandem/ovoid treatment and cylinder treatment. Once a treatment plan is developed in a treatment planning system, it is uploaded to the QA server. The program performs comprehensive validations on the geometric and dosimetric aspects of the plan. A PDF report is automatically generated for an independent plan checker to approve.

We have also developed automatic treatment planning modules for different applicators. After the planning CT is loaded to the system, it first segments the applicator via image processing techniques. Dwell positions are placed according to the applicator geometry and dwell time is determined via an inverse optimizations process. The generated plan is then sent back to the clinical planning system for verification and treatment approval. These systems have been routinely used in clinical treatments at UT Southwestern.