Current calibration, treatment, and treatment planning techniques among institutions participating in the Children's Oncology Group

Marcia Urie, T. J. FitzGerald, David Followill, Fran Laurie, Robert Marcus, Jeff Michalski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report current technology implementation, radiation therapy physics and treatment planning practices, and results of treatment planning exercises among 261 institutions belonging to the Children's Oncology Group (COG). Methods and Materials: The Radiation Therapy Committee of the newly formed COG mandated that each institution demonstrate basic physics and treatment planning abilities by satisfactorily completing a questionnaire and four treatment planning exercises designed by the Quality Assurance Review Center. The planning cases are (1) a maxillary sinus target volume (for two-dimensional planning), (2) a Hodgkin's disease mantle field (for irregular-field and off-axis dose calculations), (3) a central axis blocked case, and (4) a craniospinal irradiation case. The questionnaire and treatment plans were submitted (as of 1/30/02) by 243 institutions and completed satisfactorily by 233. Data from this questionnaire and analyses of the treatment plans with monitor unit calculations are presented. Results: Of the 243 clinics responding, 54% use multileaf collimators routinely, 94% use asymmetric jaws routinely, and 13% use dynamic wedges. Nearly all institutions calibrate their linear accelerators following American Association of Physicists in Medicine protocols, currently 16% with TG-51 and 81% with TG-21 protocol. Treatment planning systems are relied on very heavily for all calculations, including monitor units. Techniques and results of each of the treatment planning exercises are presented. Conclusions: Together, these data provide a unique compilation of current (2001) radiation therapy practices in institutions treating pediatric patients. Overall, the COG facilities have the equipment and the personnel to perform high-quality radiation therapy. With ongoing quality assurance review, radiation therapy compliance with COG protocols should be high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


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