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Title: SU-E-E-05: Improving Contouring Precision and Consistency for Physicians-In-Training with Simple Lab Experiments

Purpose: Target contouring for high-dose treatments such as radiosurgery of brain metastases is highly critical in eliminating marginal failure and reducing complications as shown by recent clinical studies. In order to improve contouring accuracy and practice consistency for the procedure, we introduced a self-assessed physics lab practice for the physicians-in-training. Methods: A set of commercially acquired high-precision PMMA plastic spheres were randomly embedded in a Styrofoam block and then scanned with the CT/MR via the clinical procedural imaging protocol. A group of first-year physicians-in-training (n=6) from either neurosurgery or radiation oncology department were asked to contour the scanned objects (diameter ranged from 0.4 cm to 3.8 cm). These user-defined contours were then compared with the ideal contour sets of object shape for self assessments to determine the maximum areas of the observed discrepancies and method of improvements. Results: The largest discrepancies from initial practice were consistently found to be located near the extreme longitudinal portions of the target for all the residents. Discrepancy was especially prominent when contouring small objects < 1.0 cm in diameters. For example, the mean volumes rendered from the initial contour data set differed from the ideal data set by 7.7%±6.6% for the participants (p> 0.23more » suggesting agreement cannot be established). However, when incorporating a secondary imaging scan such as reconstructed coronal or sagittal images in a repeat practice, the agreement was dramatically improved yielding p<0.02 in agreement with the reference data set for all the participants. Conclusion: A simple physics lab revealed a common pitfall in contouring small metastatic brain tumors for radiosurgical procedures and provided a systematic tool for physicians-in-training in improving their clinical contouring skills. Dr Ma is current a board member of international stereotactic radiosurgical society.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22486650
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ACCURACY; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; BRAIN; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; IMAGES; METASTASES; NEOPLASMS; PMMA; RADIATION DOSES; RADIOTHERAPY; SURGERY; TRAINING