We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience. Learn more

At RaySearch we aim to automate parts of the treatment planning process as we truly believe it will help you improve patient outcome and access to care. We automate standard procedures so that you can spend your valuable time on complex cases and provide more personalized care to the patients who need it most. RayStation offers several tools to automate treatment planning: Plan Explorer, automated breast planning, fallback planning, scripting and plan generating protocols and that's just the beginning.

AUTOMATION IN TREATMENT PLANNING

In this webinar, we explore some of the automation tools in several treatment-planning systems with a focus on those built into the RayStation TPS. The talk includes: use of protocols, templates and scripting; automatic breast planning; fallback planning; multi-criteria optimization; reduction of organ at risk; and plan exploration. We also look to the future and what automation means to dosimetrists and physicists, clinically and professionally.

Automatic plan generation

Automatic plan generation

Plan explorer is based on the capability to automatically generate a large number of treatment plans for defined clinical goals and combinations of treatment techniques and machines. It also provides efficient means to filter and browse among plan candidates to find the most desired one.

Plan Explorer brings many potential clinical benefits and now you can:

  • explore more of the solution space to ensure that every radiation treatment is delivered with the highest possible efficiency, with an optimal combination of treatment technique and machine;
  • maximize the use of your current treatment delivery machines;
  • and get more time to evaluate the plans 
 
 
 

This is Plan Explorer

Plan Explorer webinar

Webinar: Plan Explorer redefines automated planning

In part one of this webinar, Freddie Cardel outlines the concept of automatic plan generation with Plan Explorer and demonstrates a completely new level of automation. He explains the approach, where large numbers of high-quality treatment plans are automatically generated for defined clinical goals and combinations of treatment techniques and machines, and shows how these plans can be easily filtered and browsed to find the most suitable candidates to be evaluated. In part two, Erik Korevaar and Roel Kierkels present the first findings of the clinical evaluation they performed at University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands, and describe how the center envisions the use of the tool in clinical practice.

Automated breast planning

Automated breast planning/ rayAutoBreast

RayStation’s automated breast planning solution, rayAutoBreast, is the first step in RaySearch’s ambition to automate standard procedures.

It was initially developed at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in Toronto, Canada. Between 2009 and 2012, PMH ran a large scale clinical study to evaluate the performance of this automated treatment planning methodology for tangential breast intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

In their study results, PMH observed an increase in clinical acceptance using this fully automated method. They conclude that the method can add tremendous efficiency, standardization, and quality to the current treatment planning process and that its use will allow faster adoption of IMRT together with increased access to care improvements for breast cancer patients [1].

[1] T.G. Purdie et al., “Automated Planning of Tangential Breast Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Using Heuristic Optimization”, Int.J. Radiation Oncology Biol.Phys.Vol. 81, No.2, pp. 575-583, 2011.

 

The rayAutoBreast module provides tools for automated generation of tangential breast IMRT plans using heuristic optimization and includes features such as:

  • Automatic detection of radio-opaque markers defining the breast.
  • Automatic contouring of all the relevant target and risk organs.
  • Automatic setup of beams, including heuristic optimization of gantry and collimator angles.
  • Automatic creation of objective functions, optimization and segmentation settings and clinical goals.

Watch a demonstration of rayAutoBreast

DOWNLOAD AUTOMATED BREAST PLANNING WHITE PAPER
Fill in your email and the document will be sent to you.

Fallback planning

Fallback planning/ rayFallback

rayFallback is a tool for creating additional plans to be used in a contingency situation, enabling a patient to be treated on another machine, possibly with a different modality and/or treatment technique, in case the original machine is unavailable. It can drastically reduce planning time in emergency situations when a machine is down allowing the patients´ treatment to continue and reducing stress on staff.

  • Fallback planning uses a dose mimicking function to replicate the DVHs of a given plan, but for a different machine or treatment modality.
  • Plans of any modality, including proton and tomotherapy plans, can be replicated using photon plans like 3D-CRT, IMRT, or VMAT.
  • Fallback plans are automatically generated after plan approval based on previously created protocols.
  • No user interaction is required as this is a fully automated plan creation process. If needed the created fallback plans can be manually modified after the automatic generation.
  • Fallback plans can be compared and evaluated using a number of visual tools (DVH curves, dose differences, etc.).
  • A Fallback plan can be approved and used for delivery in future fractions. It is also possible to convert back to the original plan.
  • With dose summation tools, two plans can be combined using their delivered fractions so that actual composite dose can be visualized on the patient data set.

Watch a demonstration of rayFallback

Scripting

Scripting

Scripting in RayStation provides automation, connectivity and flexibility beyond the standard user interface.

The script language, IronPython, is a complete programming language that let the user access all capabilities of the operating system and other applications, for instance to write files, start processes, communicate with other computers, and control other scriptable applications such as Microsoft Office or .NET.

  • Automation. Through scripting, the clinic specific procedures can be automated. For instance, a script can check for properties in a plan such as small segments, disconnected target volumes, hotspots, undesirable gantry and couch angles, and based on this information, display a warning message or create a report.
  • Connectivity.  Scripting provides a way to customize the interaction between RayStation and other systems for scenarios where DICOM is not sufficient.
  • Flexibility. Scripting can be used to create capabilities which are not specifically available in the standard interface. For instance, automatic marker detection, export of images of non-standard dose planes and images of all control points can be utilized as desired.
  • A potential research tool. Through its ability to execute over multiple patients, scripting is an ideal tool for retrospective data analysis and for evaluating new treatment techniques. For instance, a script can go through a cohort of patients and systematically alter some parameter and record the effect or just extract data such as dose statistics.

Introduction to scripting in RayStation

"Akron General was able to streamline these processes while also avoiding human input errors, making the entire process less intense and time-consuming on the dosimetrist.”

Jeremy Donaghue

Chief physicist at Akron General Health System, Ohio, USA.

In-depth scripting demonstration

DOWNLOAD SCRIPTING WHITE PAPER
Fill in your email and the document will be sent to you.
SCRIPTING AT AKRON GENERAL HEALTH SYSTEM
Read more in the case study.

Plan generating protocols

Plan generating protocols

RayStation supports several tools such as templates and plan generation protocols to automate parts of the planning process. A protocol is a list of plan generation steps which can be applied automatically. Examples of plan generation steps include atlas based segmentation, plan creation, set dose grid resolution, add beams, add optimization functions and add optimization settings. When a protocol is run it will automatically create a plan using the included steps, which drastically reduces the planning time.