Quality assurance-based optimization (QAO): Towards improving patient-specific quality assurance in volumetric modulated arc therapy plans using machine learning

Phillip D.H. Wall, Jonas D. Fontenot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Previous literature has shown general trade-offs between plan complexity and resulting quality assurance (QA) outcomes. However, existing solutions for controlling this trade-off do not guarantee corresponding improvements in deliverability. Therefore, this work explored the feasibility of an optimization framework for directly maximizing predicted QA outcomes of plans without compromising the dosimetric quality of plans designed with an established knowledge-based planning (KBP) technique. Materials and Methods: A support vector machine (SVM) was developed – using a database of 500 previous VMAT plans – to predict gamma passing rates (GPRs; 3%/3mm percent dose-difference/distance-to-agreement with local normalization) based on selected complexity features. A heuristic, QA-based optimization (QAO) framework was devised by utilizing the SVM model to iteratively modify mechanical treatment features most commonly associated with suboptimal GPRs. Specifically, leaf gaps (LGs) <50 mm were widened by random amounts, which impacts all aperture-based complexity features. 13 prostate KBP-guided VMAT plans were optimized via QAO using user-specified maximum LG displacements before corresponding changes in predicted GPRs and dose were assessed. Results: Predicted GPRs increased by an average of 1.14 ± 1.25% (p = 0.006) with QAO using a 3 mm maximum random LG displacement. There were small differences in dose, resulting in similarly small changes in tumor control probability (maximum increase = 0.05%) and normal tissue complication probabilities in the bladder, rectum, and femoral heads (maximum decrease = 0.2% in the rectum). Conclusion: This study explored the feasibility of QAO and warrants future investigations of further incorporating QA endpoints into plan optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica Medica
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Knowledge-based planning
  • Machine learning
  • Patient-specific quality assurance
  • Radiation therapy treatment planning
  • Volumetric modulated arc therapy

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