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Title: Clinical validation of a graphical method for radiation therapy plan quality assessment
Authors: Ventura, Tiago 
Dias, Joana
Khouri, Leila 
Netto, Eduardo
Soares, André
da Costa Ferreira, Brigida
Rocha, Humberto 
Lopes, Maria do Carmo
Keywords: Clinical validation; Decision-making; Plan quality assessment
Issue Date: 12-Mar-2020
Publisher: Springer Nature
Project: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-028030 
Serial title, monograph or event: Radiation Oncology
Abstract: Background: This work aims at clinically validating a graphical tool developed for treatment plan assessment, named SPIDERplan, by comparing the plan choices based on its scoring with the radiation oncologists (RO) clinical preferences. Methods: SPIDERplan validation was performed for nasopharynx pathology in two steps. In the first step, three ROs from three Portuguese radiotherapy departments were asked to blindly evaluate and rank the dose distributions of twenty pairs of treatment plans. For plan ranking, the best plan from each pair was selected. For plan evaluation, the qualitative classification of ‘Good’, ‘Admissible with minor deviations’ and ‘Not Admissible’ were assigned to each plan. In the second step, SPIDERplan was applied to the same twenty patient cases. The tool was configured for two sets of structures groups: the local clinical set and the groups of structures suggested in international guidelines for nasopharynx cancer. Group weights, quantifying the importance of each group and incorporated in SPIDERplan, were defined according to RO clinical preferences and determined automatically by applying a mixed linear programming model for implicit elicitation of preferences. Intra- and inter-rater ROs plan selection and evaluation were assessed using Brennan-Prediger kappa coefficient. Results: Two-thirds of the plans were qualitatively evaluated by the ROs as ‘Good’. Concerning intra- and inter-rater variabilities of plan selection, fair agreements were obtained for most of the ROs. For plan evaluation, substantial agreements were verified in most cases. The choice of the best plan made by SPIDERplan was identical for all sets of groups and, in most cases, agreed with RO plan selection. Differences between RO choice and SPIDERplan analysis only occurred in cases for which the score differences between the plans was very low. A score difference threshold of 0.005 was defined as the value below which two plans are considered of equivalent quality. Conclusion: Generally, SPIDERplan response successfully reproduced the ROs plan selection. SPIDERplan assessment performance can represent clinical preferences based either on manual or automatic group weight assignment. For nasopharynx cases, SPIDERplan was robust in terms of the definitions of structure groups, being able to support different configurations without losing accuracy.
ISSN: 1748-717X
DOI: 10.1186/s13014-020-01507-5
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CeBER - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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