2017 RSS Planning & Contouring Studies – SBRT Lung

August 31, 20176 minute read

The Radiosurgery Society and ProKnow are proud to launch two exciting quality studies dedicated to SBRT treatment of lung cancer. These studies are in conjunction with the RSS annual meeting, to be held Nov. 2-4, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV.


Plan Quality Study

A challenging SBRT plan has been designed by the team of clinical experts, where 23 total quality metrics (21 of them scored) will be extracted and formulated into a composite plan quality score using the patented PlanIQ™ method. As always with ProKnow Plan Studies, participants can score and analyze their results interactively and with unlimited attempts to improve the score until the submission deadline. High performing planners (for each treatment modality and TPS) will be contacted to offer their techniques and best practices, which will be distributed both at the RSS meeting and via ProKnow’s “Learn” tab. Population results – including direct comparisons of sub-populations such as modality and TPS –will also be released as series of interactive graphical tools on the “Population Results” tab after the RSS presentations.

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Contouring Study

Four critical organs-at-risk (OAR) have been contoured by the expert team. Participants can use the online ProKnow contouring tools to contour the esophagus, large vessels, proximal bronchial tree, and trachea. Each participant can get immediate results of their contours vs. the expert contours as a quantified StructSure™ score and Dice coefficient, with interactive color display of regions of agreement and differences. Population results – including a “heat map” showing regions of agreement across all participants – will be released after the RSS presentation on the “Population Results” tab for each structure.

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Awards & Honors

As always, ProKnow will announce the high performers, overall and per-TPS and modality. They will also publish interactive case studies and interview high performers, publishing those interviews on the “Learn” tab for the plan study. The RSS will also be honoring high performers. Those attending the meeting will be acknowledged publicly and may be asked to briefly summarize their techniques. The RSS will also be giving away raffle prizes. Anybody who participates in the studies, regardless of performance scores, will be eligible.

Team of Clinical Experts

The following experts worked together to define the plan quality algorithm for the plan study as well as come to consensus on the contours for the contouring study.

  • Drew Moghanaki, M.D., MPH, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, VCU Massey Cancer
    Center (Virginia, USA)
  • Ben J. Slotman, M.D., Ph.D., Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Vrije Universiteit
    Medical Center (Amsterdam, NH, NLD)
  • Anand Swaminath, M.D., M.Sc., FRCPC, Div. of Radiation Oncology, Juravinski
    Cancer Centre (Ontario, CAN)
  • Brian Wang, Ph.D., Chief of Physics, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, University of
    Louisville (Kentucky, USA)

Getting Started

  1. SIGN IN to ProKnow (www.proknowsystems.com). If you do not yet have a ProKnow account, then create one (it’s free) and sign in.
  2. Once signed in, in the SELECT ORGANIZATION dropdown menu, select “Radiosurgery Society (RSS).”
  3. You can now navigate to the “Plan Studies” main menu and follow the instructions for the plan study, which will guide you on how to download the anatomical data, create and upload your plan and dose, score your plan, and submit your results.
  4. You can also navigate to the “Contour Accuracy” main menu and find the four OARs, and follow the instructions to create and score your contours for each structure.
Planning 2 Planning 2

“What’s in it for me?”

Here are a few FAQs regarding these studies, including a really important one: what’s in it for you?

Q.Do I have to be an RSS member or attend the RSS meeting to participate?
A.Not at all! Everybody is invited and encouraged. All of the results will be presented first at the meeting by the team of physicians and then opened up for the entire public that same day.
Q.Does it cost anything?
A.No, it’s free. We at ProKnow do these studies as scientific philanthropy, and we recognize your participation and your time is your investment. That’s worth a lot, but it doesn’t cost a dime.
Q.How much time does the contouring study take?
A.Not long! Less than an hour for all four organs-at-risk in the contouring study. After you finish all of them, you can continue to contour as many times you want to improve your score. And you can do your contouring from home via your own computer, no need to have any special software! You just need an internet connection and a laptop or PC.
Q.What’s a good contouring score?
A.Contouring scoring is pretty rigorous, so don’t worry if your first attempt has a StructSure score and/or Dice Coefficient that is low. After you submit your first attempt, you can take a peek at the expert team’s consensus contours, then you can try again (as many times as you want). So, a good score is simply this: one that keeps improving. That’s what it’s all about.
Q.How much time does the planning study take?
A.Well, that’s up to you. You can generate a first plan, score yourself in real-time, then decide that it’s a good attempt and submit your result. Or, you can keep trying planning iterations to improve your score. Any clinically realistic plan is a good submission — no need to obsess over your score!
Q.What’s a good planning score?
A.The planning study’s quality algorithm for this study is really challenging! Don’t be surprised if your plan score (out of 150) is lower than you’re used to for other ProKnow studies. What is achievable will be revealed when we open up the population results in early November. Until then, just do your best and don’t worry about the absolute value.
Q.“What’s in it for me?”
A.The first one is easy. Any and every data point (coming directly from your participation) is vital for the RSS clinical team to assess variability, learn techniques, and determine best practices to use to educate the rad onc community on the whole.

The second part, well that’s important, too. We get it: you need to get a reward other than the warm fuzzy of contributing your contouring and planning inputs! Well, that’s why we have decided to include both the planning participation and contouring participation as part of your ProKnow Achievement System record, i.e. to document your effort (and maybe great successes!) on your digital résumé. Participation is noted and rewarded, and also any high score (either on the first try, or after many tries) is highlighted. See the following figure as a sample.


So, have the best of both worlds: be philanthropic and invest in your professional accolades in one fell swoop.

Note: For those working hard to build their digital résumé within ProKnow, and may need a few extra achievement points to reach that next accomplishment and badge, these will be our last public studies of 2017.

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