Shortly after being showcased at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) Annual Meeting in Atlanta this year, Varian Medical Systems has received FDA 510(k) clearance for their new RapidPlan Knowledge-Based Treatment Planning solution.
RapidPlan is created as an option for Varian’s Eclipse treatment planning system. This new feature provides clinicians with the ability to incorporate evidence-based planning into their treatment plan creation. Guided by the individual patient’s anatomy, RapidPlan provides a template for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment planning by estimating dose volume histograms (DVHs). This DVH estimation can then be used as a benchmark in estimating the dose distribution in new plans by comparing it to the distribution of existing plans. This will not only allow for faster treatment planning, but will also improve “the overall quality of treatment plans.”
“Without this tool, treatment planning is an iterative process requiring several rounds of trial-and-error revisions,” says Chris Toth, Vice President of Marketing. “RapidPlan is designed to help users produce a near-ideal plan the first time, reducing or even eliminating the need for multiple time consuming iterations.”
Because RapidPlan is a knowledge-based learning tool, a facility can add their best treatment plans to the system for future use in creating new, improved practice models. The solution also allows clinicians to share these models with their colleagues. Because of these advanced features, RapidPlan will help create a more standardized planning process and provide consistency in planning between multiple physicians.
“As a physician, I’m particularly excited about how we can ‘train’ the RapidPlan tool by using information from our best plans as a starting point when planning for new patients,” says Dee Khuntia, Varian’s Vice President for Medical Affairs. “The system will also enable benchmarking by allowing us to compare our treatment plans to models created by communities of experts from around the globe. RapidPlan was designed to allow for creation of high quality, world class treatment plans anywhere. Additionally, this can be done in a fraction of the time required for standard treatment planning, which is particularly important as we continue to become more efficient in our practices.”
One thing I’d like to note is while I think RapidPlan is an exciting, new treatment planning tool, it cannot replace the clinical decisions made by physicians.