Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 1986  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 112

Microcomputer Treatment Planning System

Correspondence Address:
Anthony Chung-Bin

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Since 1974 Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center has used a PDP 11/45 computer by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for Radiation Therapy treatment planning. The software package we have developed for this purpose can computer brachytherapy plans (using the Stovell and Shalek method for both intracavitary and interstitial implants), external photon beam plans (using Cunningham's method with correction for irregular field size, inhomogeneity and patient shape) and external electron beam plans (using Hogstrom's method). The software has been used extensively during the last ten years by eight associated cancer treatment centers in the Chicago and Northern Illinois area. Over this time the software has proven to be reliable and easy-to -use. Recently we transferred this software to DEC's PRO-380 microcomputer; this inexpensive machine has computer power comparable to that of the PDP 11/45. The PRO-380 central processor is a J-11-based microprocessor with a PDP 11/70 instruction set. It has a half megabyte of memory, augmented by a ten megabyte Wincheste hard disk and two 51/4- inch floppy disk drives; the treatment planning system also includes a six-color graphic plotter, a printer, a 20 X 20 inch translucent digitizer and a communications modem. Except for the digitizer, all of the hardware is DEC standard equipment. This system is adequate to meet all the treatment planning needs of any moderate size radiation therapy center. It lacks the ability to input CT data directly from magnetic tape, but it can enter the contour, tumor volume and inhomogeneity from a CT scan using the backlighted digitizer. With the two floppy disk drives and the communications program one can transfer data and programs from other computers using floppy disks or a telephone line. This feature allows easy installation of new programs and lowers both the cost and the time of software maintenance. All of the hardware, the graphic input/output and the communications program are supplied by a third-party vendor as a system.

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