Purpose: Treatment plan quality for external beam radiation therapy contains several quantifiable metrics that may assist the clinician in evaluating dosimetric plan quality. Metric points along the dose-volume histogram (DVH) curves and other calculated metrics can provide assessment to the normal tissue organ sparing and target coverage. A single quantifiable metric, the plan score, can be used to determine plan quality from multiple dose quality parameters and has shown efficacy in plan quality events such as planning competitions and knowledge-based DVH estimation algorithm refinement.
Methods: An integrated planning scorecard tool, the Eclipse Plan Scorecard (EPS) allows for the generation of custom plan scorecard templates and the import of templates from commercial plan scoring software applications. EPS allows for users to generate evaluation structures automatically and graphically displays plan scoring metrics to the user. To evaluate the scoring functionality, the score for several plans were evaluated against a commercial plan evaluation tool with scorecard functionality.
Results: The plan scores for 8 patients were extracted by generating scorecard templates within the EPS and comparing them to existing scorecards from ProKnow. The percentage difference across the 8 plans ranged from -3.16% to 2.42% with a mean percentage difference of -0.15% across all plans. Sampling differences between the DVH extracted with ESAPI and the DICOM dose file used by ProKnow leads to minor discrepancies in the reported plan score.
Conclusion: Integrating a planning scorecard into the treatment planning system allows for the immediate extraction of dosimetric quality parameters and an overall score, thereby facilitating the immediate review of plan quality and improvement across planning iterations.
Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Mr. Schmidt reports teaching honoraria outside of the submitted work and personal consulting fees with Varian Medical Systems associated with the submitted work.