Development in a Windows environment of a radiation treatment planning system for personal computers

Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 1998 Jun;56(3):261-72. doi: 10.1016/s0169-2607(98)00029-7.


A new personal computer (PC) radiotherapy treatment planning system (RTPS) is presented. The PC-based RTPS is designed to run in the Microsoft Windows 3.11 environment (and later versions), for computers equipped with 486 or Pentium processors. The algorithm used by the new PC-based program for dose calculation belongs to the 'radiological pathlength' category and it was previously implemented on VAX 711 computers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, NY, within EXTREP-III RTPS. The EXTREP-III program is a two-dimensional RTPS (with restricted three-dimensional capabilities), developed and used in clinical practice at MSKCC during the 1980s. The PC-based program is implemented in the Visual Basic (version 3.0) language and supports features commonly available in most photon-mode RTPSs: dose calculation for fixed, isocentric and rotational irradiation techniques, dose corrections for both internal inhomogeneities and external inhomogeneities (boluses and compensators), association of machine-specific beams with various wedges and blocks, etc. The graphic interface of the PC-based RTPS is completely new and is designed to meet the requirements of fast and accurate planning. The user interface consists of an event-oriented button-based console which allows users to perform planning and to have isodose charts overlaid on patient computed tomography images initially loaded in the program. The PC-based RTPS tests, performed in order to assess its accuracy and speed of computation, show good results. The acceptable computation times obtained, the good accuracy in dose computation and the user-friendly interface of the program are sufficient reasons to consider the PC-based RTPS a good quality-price ratio tool for radiation treatment planning in cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Microcomputers*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted*
  • Software
  • User-Computer Interface