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In Seminars in radiation oncology

Treatment planning in radiation therapy has progressed enormously over the past several decades. Such advancements came in the form of innovative hardware and algorithms, giving rise to modalities such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy and volume modulated arc therapy, greatly improving patient outcome and quality of life. While these developments have improved the overall plan quality, they have also given rise to higher treatment planning complexity. This has resulted in increased treatment planning time and higher variability in the final approved plan quality. Radiation oncology, as an already technologically advanced field, has much research and implementation involving the use of AI. The field has begun to show the efficacy of using such technologies in many of its sub-areas, such as in diagnosis, imaging, segmentation, treatment planning, quality assurance, treatment delivery, and follow-up. Some AI technologies have already been clinically implemented by commercial systems. In this article, we will provide an overview to methods involved with treatment planning in radiation therapy. In particular, we will review the recent research and literature related to automation of the treatment planning process, leading to potentially higher efficiency and higher quality plans. We will then present the current and future challenges, as well as some future perspectives.

Nguyen Dan, Lin Mu-Han, Sher David, Lu Weiguo, Jia Xun, Jiang Steve