ASTRO publishes IMRT guidelines

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) this week published the first set of comprehensive guidelines for documenting intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments in detail.

The guidelines, published in the August 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics (2009, Vol. 74:5, pp. 1311-1318), also are designed for documenting image-guidance procedures.

IMRT has been used as a radiation therapy procedure for a decade, but detailed recommendations explicitly stating the information to be recorded, as well as structured report forms for easy conversion to electronic medical records, have not previously been published by a professional society.

A subcommittee chaired by Timothy Holmes, Ph.D., a medical physicist at St. Agnes Cancer Center in Baltimore, spent almost two years working to recommend guidelines for reporting treatment dose distributions and for retaining electronic data from inverse-planned radiation treatments. The overall objective is to enable any radiation oncologist or medical physicist to conveniently reconstruct a prior IMRT treatment.

The recommendations for documentation include:

  • Dose and target volume specifications
  • Treatment planning directives that provide an unambiguous description of input parameters and information required to create a 3D treatment plan
  • Treatment goal summary
  • Image-guidance summary
  • Motion management summary
  • Physician treatment summary note
  • Daily treatment records
  • Treatment planning printouts (or an electronic version)

The ASTRO committee recommends that paper and/or electronic records be retained for a minimum of five years.

Copies of the guidelines and sample form templates may be obtained by contacting ASTRO at its Fairfax, VA, headquarters or by e-mail at [email protected].

Related Reading

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