The mean absolute dose deviation-A common metric for the evaluation of dose-volume histograms in radiation therapy
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Radiation therapy needs to balance between delivering a high dose to targets and the lowest possible dose to the organs at risk. Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) summarize the distribution of radiation doses in the irradiated structures. The interpretation can however be a challenge when the number of structures is high. We propose the use of a simple summary metric. We define the mean absolute dose deviation (MADD) as the average of absolute differences between a DVH and a reference dose. The properties are evaluated through numerical analysis. Calculus trivially shows the identity of the MADD and the area between curves, between DVH and reference dose. Computation of the MADD is the same regardless of structures' designation, whether organ at risk or target, on the same dose scale. Basic calculus properties open the perspective of applying the MADD to the evaluation of treatment plans.