SU-F-T-163: Improve Proton Therapy Efficiency: Report of a Workshop

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

The technology of proton therapy, especially the pencil beam scanning technique, is evolving very quickly. However, the efficiency of proton therapy seems to lag behind conventional photon therapy. The purpose of the abstract is to report on the findings of a workshop on improvement of QA, planning and treatment efficiency in proton therapy.

Methods:

A panel of physicists, clinicians, and vendor representatives from over 18 institutions in the United States and internationally were convened in Knoxville, Tennessee in November, 2015. The panel discussed several topics on how to improve proton therapy efficiency, including 1) lean principle and failure mode and effects analysis, 2) commissioning and machine QA, 3) treatment planning, optimization and evaluation, 4) patient positioning and IGRT, 5) vendor liaison and machine availability, and 6) staffing, education and training.

Results:

The relative time needed for machine QA, treatment planning & check in proton therapy was found to range from 1 to 2.5 times of that in photon therapy. Current status in proton QA, planning and treatment was assessed. Key areas for efficiency improvement, such as elimination of unnecessary QA items or steps and development of efficient software or hardware tools, were identified. A white paper to summarize our findings is being written.

Conclusion:

It is critical to improve efficiency by developing reliable proton beam lines, efficient software tools on treatment planning, optimization and evaluation, and dedicated proton QA device. Conscious efforts and collaborations from both industry leaders and proton therapy centers are needed to achieve this goal and further advance the technology of proton therapy.

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