The Informatics of the Planning Target Volume -- why it cannot and should not be changed

Alexis Andrew Miller, Scott Turner


The ICRU defined the Planning Target Volume (PTV) as a static and geometrical volume in 1993. Radiation oncologists continue to manually alter PTVs in their daily practice when critical organs at risk (OAR) are too close to high dose PTVs. This practice is examined and shown to be non-standard (defies the ICRU definitions), inaccurate (all DVHs look perfect when the plan is manifestly NOT perfect), and useless for outcomes research (automatically analysed DVHs will find situations where the PTV_unaltered overlaps the OAR_unaltered, but will fail to find situations where an OAR_unaltered would be overlapped by a PTV_unaltered, but is not overlapped by a PTV_altered.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Alexis Andrew Miller, Scott Turner

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