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Ranking radiotherapy treatment plans using decision-analytic and heuristic techniques.

Author information

1
Institute for Biomedical Computing, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110.

Abstract

Radiotherapy treatment optimization is done by generating a set of tentative treatment plans, evaluating them and selecting the plan closest to achieving a set of conflicting treatment objectives. The evaluation of potential plans involves making tradeoffs among competing possible outcomes. Multiattribute decision theory provides a framework for specifying such tradeoffs and using them to select optimal actions. Using these concepts, we have developed a plan-ranking model which ranks a set of tentative treatment plans from best to worst. Heuristics are used to refine this model so that it reflects the clinical condition of the patient being treated and the practice preferences of the physician prescribing the treatment. A figure of merit is computed for each tentative plan, and is used to rank the plans. The approach described is very general and can be used for other medical domains having similar characteristics. The figure of merit can also be used as an objective function by computer programs that attempt to automatically generate an optimal treatment plan.

PMID:
1807562
PMCID:
PMC2247705
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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