Some computer graphical user interfaces in radiation therapy

March 28, 2016

In this review, five graphical user interfaces (GUIs) used in radiation therapy practices and researches are introduced. They are: (1) the treatment time calculator, superficial X-ray treatment time calculator (SUPCALC) used in the superficial X-ray radiation therapy; (2) the monitor unit calculator, electron monitor unit calculator (EMUC) used in the electron radiation therapy; (3) the multileaf collimator machine file creator, sliding window intensity modulated radiotherapy (SWIMRT) used in generating fluence map for research and quality assurance in intensity modulated radiation therapy; (4) the treatment planning system, DOSCTP used in the calculation of 3D dose distribution using Monte Carlo simulation; and (5) the monitor unit calculator, photon beam monitor unit calculator (PMUC) used in photon beam radiation therapy. One common issue of these GUIs is that all user-friendly interfaces are linked to complex formulas and algorithms based on various theories, which do not have to be understood and noted by the user. In that case, user only needs to input the required information with help from graphical elements in order to produce desired results. SUPCALC is a superficial radiation treatment time calculator using the GUI technique to provide a convenient way for radiation therapist to calculate the treatment time, and keep a record for the skin cancer patient. EMUC is an electron monitor unit calculator for electron radiation therapy. Instead of doing hand calculation according to pre-determined dosimetric tables, clinical user needs only to input the required drawing of electron field in computer graphical file format, prescription dose, and beam parameters to EMUC to calculate the required monitor unit for the electron beam treatment. EMUC is based on a semi-experimental theory of sector-integration algorithm. SWIMRT is a multileaf collimator machine file creator to generate a fluence map produced by a medical linear accelerator. This machine file controls the multileaf collimator to deliver intensity modulated beams for a specific fluence map used in quality assurance or research. DOSCTP is a treatment planning system using the computed tomography images. Radiation beams (photon or electron) with different energies and field sizes produced by a linear accelerator can be placed in different positions to irradiate the tumour in the patient. DOSCTP is linked to a Monte Carlo simulation engine using the EGSnrc-based code, so that 3D dose distribution can be determined accurately for radiation therapy. Moreover, DOSCTP can be used for treatment planning of patient or small animal. PMUC is a GUI for calculation of the monitor unit based on the prescription dose of patient in photon beam radiation therapy. The calculation is based on dose corrections in changes of photon beam energy, treatment depth, field size, jaw position, beam axis, treatment distance and beam modifiers. All GUIs mentioned in this review were written either by the Microsoft Visual Basic.net or a MATLAB GUI development tool called GUIDE. In addition, all GUIs were verified and tested using measurements to ensure their accuracies were up to clinical acceptable levels for implementations.

Chow JC

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