Quality management in radiotherapy treatment delivery

Publication Name

Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology


Radiation Oncology continues to rely on accurate delivery of radiation, in particular where patients can benefit from more modulated and hypofractioned treatments that can deliver higher dose to the target while optimising dose to normal structures. These deliveries are more complex, and the treatment units are more computerised, leading to a re-evaluation of quality assurance (QA) to test a larger range of options with more stringent criteria without becoming too time and resource consuming. This review explores how modern approaches of risk management and automation can be used to develop and maintain an effective and efficient QA programme. It considers various tools to control and guide radiation delivery including image guidance and motion management. Links with typical maintenance and repair activities are discussed, as well as patient-specific quality control activities. It is demonstrated that a quality management programme applied to treatment delivery can have an impact on individual patients but also on the quality of treatment techniques and future planning. Developing and customising a QA programme for treatment delivery is an important part of radiotherapy. Using modern multidisciplinary approaches can make this also a useful tool for department management.

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