Posts Categorized: Science

New Publication: Bio-Models to Assess Plan Robustness / Dose QA

Posted on

It has my pleasure to work with my colleagues Wolfgang Tomé and Heming Zhen on a multi-phased study on the methods and metrics of patient-specific Dose QA.

Recently, we published our third paper on this topic called “On the use of biomathematical models in patient-specific IMRT dose QA,” which was published in Medical Physics 40(7). This paper looked at how to use biological model-based DVH reduction methods to analyze dose changes observed during per-patient dose QA, but more importantly raised the idea of using bio-models to assess the “robustness” of highly conformal plans (IMRT and VMAT). That is, wouldn’t it be useful to quantify how susceptible these plans are (or would be) to TPS or delivery errors? Moreover, wouldn’t this make sense to do as part of optimizing the plan vs. after? It’s a common sense approach to quality....

Canis Lupus LLC Awards $100,000 Technology Grant to SIU Dosimetry Program

Posted on

In the past few years, I’ve developed closer collaborations with the dosimetry community, giving annual talks at the national AAMD meeting and working with Radiation Oncology Resources, Inc. to develop much-needed Quality Systems and training programs for radiation therapy. In the process, I have met more and more dosimetrists and dosimetry students, and am always impressed by their hunger to learn, improve, and share techniques and best practices. Dosimetrists are a highly collaborative population of colleagues as opposed to a competitive population of rivals. This is healthy.

As part of my commitment and appreciation for the dosimetry community, I proudly announce that I will be working with Dr. Scott Collins and his Dosimetry Master program at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale). I will be giving guest lectures, working with ROR to run plan quality projects (i.e. Plan Challenges devoted to the students), and most importantly I will be arming the students with “Quality Reports [EMR]” licenses throughout their education.

We just finished a pilot project with the outgoing class of 2013, and in just a few weeks we were already seeing how the software can help on so many fronts – from interactive education on core principles of radiation therapy, to clinical protocols and continual improvement initiatives. We now look forward to the 2014 class, and beyond.

– Ben Nelms...

New Publication Explores 4D Dose QA

Posted on

Check out our new publication called “Motion as a perturbation: Measurement-guided dose estimates to moving patient voxels during modulated arc deliveries,” published in the about-to-be-hot-off-the-press issue of Medical Physics (February 2013). This work was another great collaboration with Dr. Vladimir Feygelman and his team at Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, FL).

** Update February 11th ** This publication was recently named one of the “Editor’s Picks” for volume 40(2) of Medical Physics. This means that you can download the full paper PDF for free from the Medical Physics website.

This was a real labor of love for all of us. A tough bit of work, lots of moving parts (pun intended), but well worth the effort. And now the real fun begins…simulating clinical SBRT plans delivered to moving targets by highly dynamic rotating VMAT fields....