IMRT / VMAT workshop includes highlights of Monaco treatment planning benefits

Moscow2Last year, early adopters of Elekta’s Monaco® treatment planning system convened in Moscow at an Elekta IMRT/VMAT workshop titled: “Two years of Monaco 5.0 – an Exchange of experience with IMRT and VMAT on different Elekta platforms.” Advanced radiotherapy techniques such as IMRT, VMAT and SBRT have seen rapid adoption by users of Elekta radiation therapy equipment in Western and Eastern Europe. Clinicians from Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany and Italy shared clinical experiences and treatment planning ideas on various treatment platforms such as Elekta Synergy®, Elekta Axesse® and Versa HD™.

Shortly after the workshop, Elekta asked for Prof. Frank Lohr, then Vice Chairman of the Dept. of Radiation Oncology at the University Medical Center Mannheim, for his opinion of key aspects of Monaco planning:

What has been your experience with the use of template planning in Monaco and its effects on speed and overall planning efficiency?

Prof. Lohr: “Template planning is fantastic in Monaco. Templates are easy to generate, and once you have a template that works for a typical clinical paradigm – you typically get there after very few plan iterations – it typically works tremendously with very few individual modifications necessary. It is almost like having auto-planning. Therefore, Monaco would be an excellent platform for adding an auto-planning solution, such as the currently experimental iCycle.”

How helpful do you find Monaco for collaboration, sharing of experience and best practices between departments?

Prof. Lohr: “With its close-to-perfect dose calculation and template-based planning, Monaco is an excellent tool for multicenter trials, ensuring homogeneous treatment plans and comparable calculated dose.”

Moscow1How does Monaco perform when faced with certain problematic planning scenarios, such as metallic implants?

Prof. Lohr: “Monaco has been unique for a long time, providing excellent dose calculation in the most challenging situations. These include homogeneities – particularly buildup/rebuildup situations – high-Z [metallic] implants, and very small field segments. By virtue of these benefits, Monaco gives the physicist and physician the utmost confidence in the resulting treatment plans.”

According to Elekta’s Carlos Sandin, Clinical Sales Support Manager and one of the workshop organizers, it became clear during the meeting that Monaco is performing reproducibly well across hardware platforms and is enabling very efficient and custom-made treatment solutions, adapted to individual clinical requirements in a dosimetrically robust fashion.

“The conference provided numerous opportunities to further discuss projects and networking across the continent,” Sandin adds. “As a project for the near future, participants agreed to prepare a manuscript on state-of-the-art/patterns of care based on the data shared at the conference.”

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