Automatic Verification of Beam Apertures for Cervical Cancer Radiation Therapy

Kelly Kisling, Carlos Cardenas, Brian M. Anderson, Lifei Zhang, Anuja Jhingran, Hannah Simonds, Peter Balter, Rebecca M. Howell, Kathleen Schmeler, Beth M. Beadle, Laurence Court

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Automated tools can help identify radiation treatment plans of unacceptable quality. To this end, we developed a quality verification technique to automatically verify the clinical acceptability of beam apertures for 4-field box treatments of patients with cervical cancer. By comparing the beam apertures to be used for treatment with a secondary set of beam apertures developed automatically, this quality verification technique can flag beam apertures that may need to be edited to be acceptable for treatment. Methods and Materials: The automated methodology for creating verification beam apertures uses a deep learning model trained on beam apertures and digitally reconstructed radiographs from 255 clinically acceptable planned treatments (as rated by physicians). These verification apertures were then compared with the treatment apertures using spatial comparison metrics to detect unacceptable treatment apertures. We tested the quality verification technique on beam apertures from 80 treatment plans. Each plan was rated by physicians, where 57 were rated clinically acceptable and 23 were rated clinically unacceptable. Results: Using various comparison metrics (the mean surface distance, Hausdorff distance, and Dice similarity coefficient) for the 2 sets of beam apertures, we found that treatment beam apertures rated acceptable had significantly better agreement with the verification beam apertures than those rated unacceptable (P <.01). Upon receiver operating characteristic analysis, we found the area under the curve for all metrics to be 0.89 to 0.95, which demonstrated the high sensitivity and specificity of our quality verification technique. Conclusions: We found that our technique of automatically verifying the beam aperture is an effective tool for flagging potentially unacceptable beam apertures during the treatment plan review process. Accordingly, we will clinically deploy this quality verification technique as part of a fully automated treatment planning tool and automated plan quality assurance program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e415-e424
JournalPractical radiation oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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