The 2017 AAMD Plan Study

April 25, 20174 minute read

The 2017 AAMD treatment planning study is the first of the “new era” of plan studies, where the case study selection, study goals, and presentation of results is managed by one (or more) ambitious leaders from the AAMD community.

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 study will be led by your colleague Chris Gainer, who has come up with a unique case study with lots of potential for discovery and discussion.

We have recorded a short “podcast” to prime your engines for this study. In this podcast, Chris, along with host Ben Nelms, talk about the background of this study, the patient, the challenges, and the goals for the AAMD meeting.

We discuss the 2017 AAMD Plan Study in Episode 1 of the new “Quality Time” podcast. You can listen here:

Quality Time Epidose 001

This plan study will have a different angle than all prior years’ studies. We will collect basic plan metrics as always to ensure that minimal requirements of each submission are met, but this is not a contest centered around scores. This study is different because it is not a straight-forward, cookie-cutter plan. As a result, meeting specific dose and DVH metrics, while important, is not the only consideration for plan quality. What we will also be collecting are other vital metrics from the most important medical device you have – your brain! How would you treatment this patient? What concerns and challenges do you see that you would be sure to deal with? And how would you deal with them? Be prepared to talk to your radiation oncologist(s) to brainstorm your approach and your priorities, and then be prepared to share those thoughts when you submit your plan. The ProKnow portal will collect your thoughts via custom entry fields. No answer is wrong except a blank answer! Click here to see a list of the questions that are part of the plan study.

Below are some general details about the 2017 study.

Clinical LeaderChris Gainer, BS, CMD, RT(R)(T)
Case StudyMassive skin cancer of the left ear and neck with positive lymph nodes.
ParticipationEverybody around the world is invited to participate. As always the study is free, anonymous, and not limited to any specific region, clinical role, or membership status.
Modalities AcceptedAny/all (photon, electron, proton, mixed modality, etc.)
Plan Study TechnologyProKnow Systems (
Study Launch DateMay 1, 2017
Data Collection DeadlineSubmissions close June 2, 2017
Results PresentationJune 2017 at the AAMD meeting (Indianapolis, IN)

Sign In or Register Today to Get Started!

Preview of Plan Study Questions

  • Do you see cases like this in your clinic? If so, have you done any (or all) of the treatment plans for them?
  • At your institution, would a case like this fit into a prescribed protocol or class solution? Or, would your physician ask you to improvise and try several things?
  • Did you consult with one or more physicians to determine your treatment choice? Did they have a strong opinion or preference for a particular method, and if so, was that the method you used?
  • What other methods did you consider? Did you make trials of each treatment type to compare?
  • In designing your plan, what considerations did you make based on practicality of delivery? Did you (or would you have) consulted with the radiation therapists who would set up and delivery each fraction?
  • What considerations, if any, did you make based on delivery efficiency and patient comfort?
  • Did you take steps to verify that your chosen treatment plan could be calculated and delivered accurately?
  • What were you (or your team’s) thoughts on the dose distribution within the target? For example, was dose homogeneity a priority? Or would you consider heterogeneity in this case an advantage?
  • Would you extract any metrics for your physician plan review such as homogeneity index, heterogeneity index, D1%, etc. to help grade your plan? Would your team have prescribed a different dose or fractionation schedule? If yes, please describe.
  • What would you monitor throughout the course of treatment? What adjustments would make based on different treatment responses? Would you consider re-imaging and/or plan adjustments? If so, when?
  • What other topics or questions would you like the clinical leader (i.e. Chris Gainer) of this plan study to try to discuss?