Comprehensive Intra-Institution stepping validation of knowledge-based models for automatic plan optimization

R. Castriconi, C. Fiorino, S. Broggi, C. Cozzarini, N. Di Muzio, R. Calandrino, G. M. Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To develop and apply a stepping approach for the validation of Knowledge-based (KB) models for planning optimization: the method was applied to the case of concomitant irradiation of pelvic nodes and prostate + seminal−vesicles bed irradiation in post-prostatectomy patients. Methods: The clinical VMAT plans of 52 patients optimized by two reference planners were selected to generate a KB-model (RapidPlan, v.13.5 Varian). A stepping-validation approach was followed by comparing KB-generated plans (with and without planner-interaction, RP and only-RP respectively) against delivered clinical plans (RA). The validation followed three steps, gradually extending its generalization: 20 patients used to develop the model (closed-loop); 20 new patients, same planners (open-loop); 20 new patients, different planners (wide-loop). All plans were compared, in terms of relevant dose-volume parameters and generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD). Results: KB-plans were generally better than or equivalent to clinical plans. For RPvsRA, PTVs coverage was comparable, for OARs RP was always better. Comparing only-RPvsRA, PTVs coverage was always better; bowel\bladder V 50Gy and D 1% , bowel\bladder\rectum D mean , femoral heads V 40Gy and penile bulb V 50Gy were significantly improved. For RPvsRA gEUD reduction >1 Gy was seen in 80% of plans for rectum, bladder and bowel; for only-RPvsRA, this was found in 50% for rectum/bladder and in 70% for bowel. Conclusion: An extensive stepping validation approach of KB-model for planning optimization showed better or equal performances of automatically generated KB-plan compared to clinical plans. The interaction of a planner further improved planning performances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica Medica
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Automatic planning
  • Knowledge-based
  • Machine learning
  • Prostate radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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