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Gerber RL , Smith AR , Owen J , Hanlon A , Wallace M , Hanks G
Patterns of Care Survey Results - Treatment Planning for Carcinoma of the Prostate
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 1995 Nov 1;33(4) :803-808
PMID: ISI:A1995TE82600003   
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Purpose: Treatment planning has been defined differently at various institutions to encompass tasks ranging from the initial evaluation of the patient to the delivery of the treatment as well as a more narrow view, focused primarily on isodose computation. To evaluate the impact of much of the new treatment-planning technology that has become available, it is necessary to define and develop recommended guidelines for the treatment-planning process. Methods and Materials: The 1989 Patterns of Care Study (PCS) included questionnaires to access treatment planning practices currently in use for the entire census of oncology facilities in the United States. These questionnaires were developed by a consensus committee consisting of both physicists and radiation oncologists whose charge was to formulate a description of current treatment- planning practices. The description was based on the committee's experience and knowledge of the treatment-planning process considered to be widely available and in general use, as well as a review of the literature. From the description of the treatment-planning process, a set of guidelines for treatment planning was developed for prostate as well as each of the other disease sites included in the PCS. Data from the study defined the general structure, methodology, process, and tools used by each institution involved in the Patterns of Care Survey Study. National averages for all of the variables were calculated with weighted averages, with the weights reflecting the sample design and number of patients in the different types of facilities. The data were stratified according to academic, hospital, or free-standing facility and were compared with the Consensus Guidelines for Treatment Planning of the Prostate. Discussion: Based on the consensus statement, the treatment- planning process was separated into the following categories: (a) Treatment-Planning Workup, (b) Treatment Plan Implementation, (c) Treatment Delivery, (d) Treatment Verification, and (e) Quality Assurance. The results from the survey were summarized for each category and compared with the consensus statement. Conclusions: Although there is an increasing trend toward using computed tomography (CT) information to acquire individualized patient data, volume definition and localization are often completed in the simulator without the direct use of CT information (47%). As more sophisticated beam arrangements and blocking are used, one needs to look at the full three-dimensional (3D) volume to ensure that there are no marginal misses due to blocking and beam arrangement. Improved and more widespread use of immobilization devices is also required with conformal treatments and reduced margins. The results of the survey helped to identify and establish the standard of practice for treatment planning of the prostate as well as to provide documentation for better defining a complete description of the treatment planning process. Well-documented guidelines will provide more consistent treatment of patients, which should have an impact on outcome.
Times Cited: 13 Article TE826 INT J RADIAT ONCOL BIOL PHYS