The ROCOCO performance scoring system translates dosimetric differences into clinically relevant endpoints: Comparing IMPT to VMAT in an example pilocytic astrocytoma dataset

Lieke in 't Ven, Erik Roelofs, Macarena Cubillos Mesías, Inge Compter, Yvonne L. B. Klaver, Robert Jan Smeenk, Geert O. Janssens, Johannes H. A. M. Kaanders, Raquel Davila Fajardo, Foppe Oldenburger, Dirk de Ruysscher, Esther G. C. Troost, Daniëlle B. P. Eekers

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: Proton therapy is expected to outperform photon-based treatment regarding organs at risk (OAR) sparing but to date there is no method to practically measure clinical benefit. Here, we introduce the novel ROCOCO Performance Scoring System (RPSS) translating dose differences into clinically relevant endpoints and apply this to a treatment plan comparison of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) in 20 pilocytic astrocytoma patients. Material and methods: The RPSS was developed on the basis of expert-based weighting factors and toxicity scores per OAR. The imaging datasets of 20 pilocytic astrocytoma patients having undergone radiotherapy were included in this in silico dosimetric comparison trial as proof of principle. For each of these patients, treatment plans to a total dose of 54 Gy (RBE) were generated for VMAT and IMPT and these were compared regarding radiation dose to the clinical target volume (CTV) and OARs. The RPSS was calculated for each treatment plan comparing VMAT and IMPT. Results: In 40 analysed treatment plans, the average and low dose volumes to various OARs were significantly reduced when using IMPT compared to VMAT (p < 0.05). Using the RPSS, a significant difference between both treatment modalities was found, with 85% of the patients having a lower RPSS in favour of the IMPT plan. Conclusion: There are dosimetric differences between IMPT and VMAT in pilocytic astrocytoma patients. In absence of clinically validated NTCP models we introduce the RPSS model in order to objectively compare treatment modalities by translating dosimetric differences in potential clinical differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Low grade glioma
  • Organ at risk
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
  • Proton therapy
  • Scoring system

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