Allowing Multiple Eclipse Planners for a Single Patient Dataset


Oftentimes, multiple people at one clinic or institution want to participate separately and in parallel (i.e., simultaneously) in a ProKnow plan study. For most treatment planning systems (TPS), it is pretty straight forward to import the same base dataset (planning images and RT structure set) then make copies of that patient for each individual planner. However, this is not quite as easy if you use the Eclipse TPS.

Thankfully, one of the most experienced and decorated Eclipse users from the ProKnow community — Thomas Costantino, MS, CMD, RT(T) — provided step-by-step instructions that suffice as a work-around. The process at first glance may seem complicated, but start-to-finish it should only take about 5 to 10 minutes. His solution is listed under Method 1.

Another member of the ProKnow community — Aleksey Moiseev, PhD — has also graciously taken the time to submit his solution for this problem. Dr. Moiseev, is the head of the medical physics department at Medscan, LLC ( His solution is listed under Method 2.

Below are the instructions from Mr. Costantino and Dr. Moiseev.

Method 1

You can repeat this process for as many planners that would like to participate in the plan studies.

Note: Supporting images are shown below the text instructions.

  1. Choose File --> New Patient. For this first new patient, you will download them import the raw ProKnow-provided data (CT and RT Structure Set). This will be a "base" patient for the raw data, and will not be manipulated in any way.
  2. Create another new patient, which will be one planner’s "copy" of the raw dataset. Enter unique information for this new patient (we use our own names as the patient names, which makes it easier to keep track of who is working with what patient dataset in Eclipse).
  3. Go to contouring, and choose Insert --> New Phantom Image Set (yes we know the patient is not a phantom, but this is the work-around that works!)
  4. Insert a new structure as the BODY and be sure to set the "Type" to BODY. (Figure A)
  5. Choose Contouring --> Draw --> Rectangle. (Figure B)
  6. Draw the rectangle with grid overlay. (Figure C, top)
  7. Use the pencil tool to copy this contour then press HOME on the keyboard and paste the contour. Then hit END on the keyboard and paste again. (Figure C, bottom)
  8. Interpolate slices linearly then hit HOME on keyboard and clear the body from the current plane. This deletes the first slice. Then hit END on keyboard and clear the body contour from the current plane, which is the last slice. This fills the contours to make them solid.
  9. Right click on the body and go to properties. Here, assign a CT number of 0. (Figure D)
  10. Go to External beam and insert a new plan and beam on the created phantom. (Figure E)
  11. Calculate the dose in 3D.
  12. Next create a verification plan and choose the "Select" button. (Figure F)
  13. Select "Change Patient." (Figure G)
  14. Navigate to the original/base patient dataset you created earlier to import those images and structure set. (Figure H)
  15. Keep hitting "Next" until finished. Now that CT and structure set will be attached to your personal patient. Note: The structures will have a suffix "_P" as the are labeled as a phantom, and you can change these if you wish but it is not required, as you will only be submitting RT Plan and RT Dose files to ProKnow. (Figures I and J)
  16. You can now create your own plan on this data set!


Method 2

  1. Create New Patient and import Plan Study data from ProKnow as you normally do.
  2. In Contouring Tab Right Mouse Button (RMB) Click on Structure Set name -> Duplicate Structure Set. This will create a new one; name it according to the planner name. It will create CT copy as well (dotted arrow), so rename it, too.


  3. Open newly created Structure Set in Planning Tab. multiple-eclipse-3.jpg

  4. RMB Click on a CT assigned for this Structure Set -> New plan… multiple-eclipse-4.jpg

  5. If it's a first plan for this planner, create a New Course in next window (don't forget to name it accordingly); otherwise choose the correct one (yellow arrow). This will help with plan mess for multiple planners. multiple-eclipse-5.jpg

  6. That's it. Planners can plan and manipulate Structures Sets independently.

  7. Use Courses to distingue your plans from different planners the next time you wish to create a new plan. 

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