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Objective evaluation of radiation treatment plans.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110.


The evaluation of radiation treatment plans involves making trade-offs among doses delivered to the tumor volumes and nearby normal tissues. Evaluating state-of-the-art three-dimensional (3D) plans is a difficult task because of the huge amount of planning data that needs to be deciphered. Multiattribute utility theory provides a methodology for specifying trade-offs and selecting the optimal plan from many competing plans. Using multiattribute utility theory, we are developing a clinically meaningful objective plan-evaluation model for 3D radiation treatment plans. Our model incorporates three of the factors involved in radiation treatment evaluation--treatment preferences of the radiation oncologist, clinical condition of the patient, and complexity of the treatment plan.

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