Development and comprehensive commissioning of an automated brachytherapy plan checker

Samantha J. Simiele, Xiaoping Chen, Choonik Lee, Benjamin S. Rosen, Justin K. Mikell, Jean M. Moran, Joann I. Prisciandaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To present on the commissioning of an automated brachytherapy plan checker (BPC) for the evaluation of high-dose-rate brachytherapy treatment plans in support of standardized workflows and patient safety. Methods and Materials: A BPC was developed using an applications programming interface in a commercial treatment planning system based on different inputs (e.g., regulations, professional society recommendations, and user feedback) and leveraged our experience with an in-house developed external beam plan checker. The BPC was commissioned using a comprehensive suite of test plans with known errors and anonymized clinical plans. Results: During commissioning, the BPC was successfully executed on a total of 87 test plans. Commissioning tests spanned a range of treatment sites and evaluated that pass and fail states were correct. Administration settings were changed in a nonclinical database to evaluate tests involving the source and afterloader. Clinical testing of the BPC was then performed in parallel with a manual review process before clinical implementation. Conclusions: To commission the BPC for clinical use, a comprehensive suite of test plans was developed and used to ensure the BPC correctly detected and reported errors. A summary of the test plans is presented to help guide users developing similar automated tools. The BPC represents a process-improvement initiative designed to reduce errors and improve safety for brachytherapy patients. By using a comprehensive test suite for commissioning, tests are available for periodic quality assurance and after software upgrades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Applications programming interface
  • Automation
  • Brachytherapy
  • Quality assurance


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