An innovation platform sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation
Automatic Dose Planning – Aarhus University Hospital

Automatic Dose Planning

Personalised treatment planning is a cornerstone of the radiotherapy that about half of all cancer patients will undergo at some point during their treatment. Current treatment-planning processes are manual and time-consuming, resulting in some variability in plan outcomes.

The Inspiration Behind the Innovation

The goal of radiotherapy is to deliver a personalised radiation dose that eradicates the cancer cells in a tumour while minimising the dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. Recent advances in research and software have opened the possibility to automate a significant portion of the treatment-planning process. This stands to cut the required planning time, improve consistency in plan quality, and significantly reduce toxicity and adverse side effects. Until now, these technological advances and their supporting research have typically focused on a specific step of the planning process for specific patient groups or do not adhere to Danish treatment-planning standards.

The Innovation 

While each treatment plan is unique, many of the actions performed during treatment planning are always identical. There might be some variation between diagnosis, tumour site and institution; however, treatment planners usually adhere to standards within each combination of factors as they devise their plans. By creating a template for each distinct planning scenario, it’s possible to automate a large part of the standard planning process, thereby improving efficiency and accuracy while reducing the manual part of the planning process. This automatic dose-planning solution consists of software-driven, site-specific ‘treatment templates’ that enable treatment planners to guide a mostly automated process by simply making a few specific selections, freeing up their time and allowing them to focus on particularly challenging cases.

The Team

Thomas Ravkilde: Medical Physicist; Aarhus University Hospital; Aarhus University

Ditte Sloth Møller: Medical Physicist and Associate Professor; Aarhus University Hospital; Aarhus University

Mette Skovhus Thomsen: Chief Physist; Aarhus University Hospital

… and the rest of the Section for Medical Physics, Department of Oncology; Aarhus University Hospital