The Radiation Planning Assistant (RPA) is a system developed for the fully automated creation of radiotherapy treatment plans, including volume-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans for patients with head/neck cancer and 4-field box plans for patients with cervical cancer. It is a combination of specially developed in-house software that uses an application programming interface to communicate with a commercial radiotherapy treatment planning system. It also interfaces with a commercial secondary dose verification software. The necessary inputs to the system are a Treatment Plan Order, approved by the radiation oncologist, and a simulation computed tomography (CT) image, approved by the radiographer. The RPA then generates a complete radiotherapy treatment plan. For the cervical cancer treatment plans, no additional user intervention is necessary until the plan is complete. For head/neck treatment plans, after the normal tissue and some of the target structures are automatically delineated on the CT image, the radiation oncologist must review the contours, making edits if necessary. They also delineate the gross tumor volume. The RPA then completes the treatment planning process, creating a VMAT plan. Finally, the completed plan must be reviewed by qualified clinical staff.
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