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University of New Mexico Cancer Center

Delivering patient treatment efficiencies thanks to DLCExpert

UNM is one of only 51 cancer centers in the United States to achieve comprehensive designation by the National Cancer Institute and is recognized as the state’s official cancer center.

UNM is home to New Mexico’s largest team of cancer specialists with 146 board-certified oncology physicians representing every cancer specialty.

UNM’s 206,432 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Cancer Treatment and Clinical Research Facility brings new cancer diagnostic and treatment modalities to New Mexico, having introduced or expanded 11 cancer programs and now offering 17 cancer programs including neuro-oncology, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation as well as Phase I clinical trials.

The problem

The department was consistently dealing with the stress of a patient schedule at full capacity. They needed a solution that would give them space in their schedule and deliver treatment efficiencies without compromising patient care quality and effectiveness. Autocontouring was seen as a potential solution for this problem by decreasing the OAR contouring time of their planning process, freeing time in their schedule for enhanced dose planning and potential adaptive planning, thus, improving overall treatment efficiencies and improving patient care.

The solution

After reviewing a demo of Mirada’s DLCExpert™ head/neck structures, the department personnel felt that this solution could greatly benefit their departmental workflow. UNM chose DLCExpert™ to fulfil this need, with the main beneficiaries of the solution being the department’s dosimetrists, as well as their patients.

The outcome

“Prior to using the DLC, the contouring for a H&N patient would take about 2 hours to complete. With DLC, it takes about 30 min. That is a saving of 75% time for each H&N patient. Our H&N patients comprise about 15% – 20% of our daily patient treatments, and we simulate around 4 patients per week, on average. Essentially, that is saving us 7 hours a week – almost a full workday!”

“80% of the H&N structures contoured by the DLC require either no edits or minor editing (which we have defined as > 1 min of editing). We have received an upgrade since we have started using DLC and I have noticed the improvement in the contouring of structures after the upgrade. They were good before, now they are even better.”

“The staff at Mirada have provided top-notch customer service. Namely, they customized the DLC H&N contours to match our structure templates here at UNM, both with the color and the names of structures. They regularly communicate with me to check-in as to how things are going, they will make an appointment with me and our IT people if they need access to their ‘box’ and have been responsive when I have reached out with any particular questions or concerns. The response time is less than 2 hours, typically.”

“Whenever reaching out to me, the Mirada staff are always mindful of my time and always professional and courteous. They are great about making introductions and I always feel respected and appreciated when communicating with them.”

“I anticipate that we will use some of the other contouring programs as time allows us to check them out. Mirada staff have made it clear to me that they are ready whenever we are to set this up as time allows. The affordability of their product is a positive incentive, as well.”

Angela Rubio, CMD Chief Radiation Dosimetrist, University of New Mexico Cancer Center – Radiation Oncology Department – Sept 2020


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