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RT PACS Is Becoming An Indispensable Information System for Clinical Practice and Research in Radiation Oncology

Y Yan*, W Lu, J Wu, M Lin, X Gu, S Jiang, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX


(Sunday, 7/12/2020)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: AAPM ePoster Library

Purpose: treatment plans are often revisited for retreatments, education and research. However retrieving archived plans is often laborious, even unfeasible for plans of decommissioned systems. A RT-specific PACS that consolidates plans of diverse modalities and techniques is a highly desired in radiation oncology to facilitate data exchange, patient referring and research. This study presents a strategy to build such a system.

Methods: planning systems make plans for specific machines. Their internal planning data is not exchangeable, however, most of planning information can be made commonly understandable through DICOM export. DICOM has been the format of choice for clinical practice and research in radiation oncology and other disciplines of medicine, yet RT-specific PACS has not been fully implemented and deployed. We installed and customized two commercial DICOM servers and added a web portal for better performance and usability. DICOM architecture is constructed the way that all planning systems will automatically send DICOM objects to RT PACS when a plan is approved. For archived patients in decommissioned systems, we manually opened individual plans and exported DICOM objects to RT PACS. Two databases were periodically synchronized in case of system maintenance or network issues.

Results: of more than 20,000 patients were put in RT PACS. The average dataset retrieval time was reduced to less than 1 minute. The in-house developed RT viewer retrieves and presents plans exported from all TPSs at their digital format instead of printouts. The RT PACS also acts as the secondary plan backup in addition to native backups in TPSs, and a data warehouse for internal AI research projects.

Conclusion: amount of data is being created in modern radiation therapy facilities. RT PACS is highly desired to effectively manage and utilize the data to promote clinical practice and research.


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