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Treatment Planning Systems


The treatment planning system is at the heart of the radiotherapy process. An error in calculation or misinterpretation at the planning stage will affect not just one fraction but the whole of a patient’s course of treatment. For this reason accurate commissioning of the treatment planning system is critical.

Important Principles

End to end testing, in the context of radiotherapy, describes a quality assurance procedure which starts at contour delineation and dose prescription, proceeds through dose calculation and parameter transfer to the treatment unit and finishes with dose delivery on the machine. Thus it encompasses integrity of data transfer, the accuracy of the dose calculation algorithm and the geometric and dosimetric calibration of the treatment unit.  Quality assurance systems for end to end testing employ a simple phantom, with or without inhomogeneities, which can be loaded with point or planar dosimeters for local or remote reading. Instructions on the target to be irradiated and volumes to be avoided are provided thus simulating the planning and treatment of a real patient.


Introduction to References

The references describe the IAEA approach to end to end testing together with early experience with the system.