Automated retrieval of radiotherapy data for clinical trials, audit and research

Romanchikova M, Harrison K, Burnet NG, Hoole AF, Sutcliffe MP, Parker MA, Jena R, Thomas SJ.  Automated retrieval of radiotherapy data for clinical trials, audit and research.  Br J Radiol. 2017 Nov 10:20170651.


Objective: To enable fast and customisable automated collection of radiotherapy data from tomotherapy storage.

Methods: Human-readable data maps (TagMaps) were created to generate DICOM-RT data from tomotherapy archives, and provided access to "hidden" information comprising delivery sinograms, positional corrections and adaptive-RT doses.

Results: 797 datasets totalling 25,000 scans were batch-exported in 31.5 hours. All archived information was restored, including the data not available via commercial software. The exported data were DICOM-compliant and compatible with major commercial tools including RayStation, Pinnacle and ProSoma. The export ran without operator interventions.

Conclusion: The TagMap method for DICOM-RT data modelling produced software that was many times faster than the vendor's solution, required minimal operator input and delivered high volumes of vendor-identical DICOM data. The approach is applicable to many clinical and research data processing scenarios and can be adapted to recover DICOM-RT data from other proprietary storage types such as Elekta, Pinnacle or ProSoma. Advances in knowledge: A novel method to translate data from proprietary storage to DICOM-RT is presented. It provides access to the data hidden in electronic archives, offers a working solution to the issues of data migration and vendor lock-in and paves the way for large-scale imaging and radiomics studies.

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