Numerical scoring of treatment plans

J. E. Munzenrider, A. P. Brown, J. C.H. Chu, L. R. Coia, K. P. Doppke, B. Emami, G. J. Kutcher, R. Mohan, J. A. Purdy, B. Shank, J. R. Simpson, L. J. Solin, M. M. Urie

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This is a report on numerical scoring techniques developed for the evaluation of treatment plans as part of a four-institution study of the role of 3-D planning in high energy external beam photon therapy. A formal evaluation process was developed in which plans were assessed by a clinician who displayed dose distributions in transverse, sagittal, coronal, and arbitrary oblique planes, viewed dose-volume histograms which summarized dose distributions to target volumes and the normal tissues of interest, and reviewed dose statistics which characterized the volume dose distribution for each plan. In addition, tumor control probabilities were calculated for each biological target volume and normal tissue complication probabilities were calculated for each normal tissue defined in the agreed-upon protocols. To score a plan, the physician assigned a score for each normal tissue to reflect possible complications; for each target volume two separate scores were assigned, one representing the adequacy of tumor coverage, the second the likelihood of a complication. After scoring each target and normal tissue individually, two summary scores were given, one for target coverage, the second reflecting the impact on all normal tissues. Finally, each plan was given an overall rating (which could include a downgrading of the plan if the treatment was judged to be overly complex).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-163
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 15 1991


  • 3-D treatment planning
  • Dose-volume histogram
  • Normal tissue complication probability
  • Numerical scoring
  • Optimization
  • Plan evaluation
  • Tumor control probability


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