IROC Rhode Island (QARC) Publications


Current calibration, treatment, and treatment planning techniques among institutions participating in the Children's Oncology Group

UMMS Affiliation

Quality Assurance Review Center; Department of Radiation Oncology

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Services Administration | Neoplasms | Oncology | Radiology


PURPOSE: To report current technology implementation, radiation therapy physics and treatment planning practices, and results of treatment planning exercises among 261 institutions belonging to the Children's Oncology Group (COG).

METHODS AND MATERIALS: The Radiation Therapy Committee of the newly formed COG mandated that each institution demonstrate basic physics and treatment planning abilities by satisfactorily completing a questionnaire and four treatment planning exercises designed by the Quality Assurance Review Center. The planning cases are (1) a maxillary sinus target volume (for two-dimensional planning), (2) a Hodgkin's disease mantle field (for irregular-field and off-axis dose calculations), (3) a central axis blocked case, and (4) a craniospinal irradiation case. The questionnaire and treatment plans were submitted (as of 1/30/02) by 243 institutions and completed satisfactorily by 233. Data from this questionnaire and analyses of the treatment plans with monitor unit calculations are presented.

RESULTS: Of the 243 clinics responding, 54% use multileaf collimators routinely, 94% use asymmetric jaws routinely, and 13% use dynamic wedges. Nearly all institutions calibrate their linear accelerators following American Association of Physicists in Medicine protocols, currently 16% with TG-51 and 81% with TG-21 protocol. Treatment planning systems are relied on very heavily for all calculations, including monitor units. Techniques and results of each of the treatment planning exercises are presented.

CONCLUSIONS: Together, these data provide a unique compilation of current (2001) radiation therapy practices in institutions treating pediatric patients. Overall, the COG facilities have the equipment and the personnel to perform high-quality radiation therapy. With ongoing quality assurance review, radiation therapy compliance with COG protocols should be high.


Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Jan 1;55(1):245-60.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID