Multi-institutional generalizability of a plan complexity machine learning model for predicting pre-treatment quality assurance results in radiotherapy

Michaël Claessens, Geert De Kerf, Verdi Vanreusel, Isabelle Mollaert, Victor Hernandez, Jordi Saez, Núria Jornet, Dirk Verellen

Research outputpeer-review


Background and purpose: Treatment plans in radiotherapy are subject to measurement-based pre-treatment verifications. In this study, plan complexity metrics (PCMs) were calculated per beam and used as input features to develop a predictive model. The aim of this study was to determine the robustness against differences in machine type and institutional-specific quality assurance (QA). Material and methods: A number of 567 beams were collected, where 477 passed and 90 failed the pre-treatment QA. Treatment plans of different anatomical regions were included. One type of linear accelerator was represented. For all beams, 16 PCMs were calculated. A random forest classifier was trained to distinct between acceptable and non-acceptable beams. The model was validated on other datasets to investigate its robustness. Firstly, plans for another machine type from the same institution were evaluated. Secondly, an inter-institutional validation was conducted on three datasets from different centres with their associated QA. Results: Intra-institutionally, the PCMs beam modulation, mean MLC gap, Q1 gap, and Modulation Complexity Score were the most informative to detect failing beams. Eighty-tree percent of the failed beams (15/18) were detected correctly. The model could not detect over-modulated beams of another machine type. Inter-institutionally, the model performance reached higher accuracy for centres with comparable equipment both for treatment and QA as the local institute. Conclusions: The study demonstrates that the robustness decreases when major differences appear in the QA platform or in planning strategies, but that it is feasible to extrapolate institutional-specific trained models between centres with similar clinical practice. Predictive models should be developed for each machine type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100525
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics and Imaging in Radiation Oncology
StatePublished - Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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