Head and Neck Cancer

Contouring and Plan Evaluation Curriculum Overview

Open to radiation oncology residents and consultants, as well as medical physicists interested in bettering their anatomy and contouring.


Goal: improve ability to contour accurately, confidently, and critically evaluate structures and plans (coverage, conformality, heterogeneity, gradient, and DVH)


  • While directly improving ability to provide high quality care to patients

  • Easy to participate and opportunities to ask any questions with passionate experts

  • Curriculum Design:

Benjamin Li, MD, MBA

Parag Sanghvi, MD, MSPH

  • Supporting Educators: 10

  • Sessions: 16

Curriculum Outline

1. Introduction and overview of H&N Contouring, importance, and clinical significance (impact on outcomes, toxicities, and economics)


2. Contouring the GTV (gross tumor volume) – with Radiation Oncologist expert

  • If you are going to treat the patient with the intent for cure, make sure that you prescribe the dose correctly! Or else the patient will receive a treatment with no actual benefit and that only causes significant harm and toxicity.

  • Resources for CTV expansions


3. Contouring the LN (lymph node) stations – with Radiation Oncologist expert

  • Session a – LN I and II, any relevant OARs (organs at risk) and disease site tips

  • Session b – LN III and IV, any relevant OARs, and disease site tips

  • Session c – LN Va and Vb, any relevant OARs, and disease site tips

  • Session d– LN VI and VII, any relevant OARs, and disease site tips


4. Contouring cranial nerves (e.g. for perineural invasion)

  • Show atlases


5. Contouring OARs (organs at risk) – with Dosimetrist and Radiation Oncologist

  • Explanations for the clinical importance of each OAR

  • Review of dose constraints

  • Review of supporting literature


6. Plan evaluation – with Dosimetrist and Radiation Oncologist experts

  • Session a – Overview of a perfect method for plan evaluation, with an example

  • Session b – Practice plan evaluations of participants’ submitted cases

  • Session c – More practice plan evaluations of participants’ submitted cases

  • Dosimetrists will also provide advice and techniques to participating medical physicists to help achieve planning goals (e.g. in 2D, in 3D-CRT, and in IMRT)


7. Final Evaluation

  • Each participant will be given the same standardized case to contour

  • They will bring this case to the session, completed beforehand.

  • They will receive real-time feedback on each plan during the session! Participants will be asked to provide their commentary before the expert provides his/her own. The expert can show his gold-standard plan.

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Rayos Contra Cancer