Plan comparison of volumetric-modulated arc therapy (RapidArc) and conventional intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in anal canal cancer

Sabine Vieillot, David Azria, Claire Lemanski, Carmen Llacer Moscardo, Sophie Gourgou, Jean-Bernard Dubois, Norbert Aillères, Pascal Fenoglietto
Radiation Oncology 2010, 5: 92

BACKGROUND: To compare volumetric-modulated arc therapy (RapidArc) plans with conventional intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans in anal canal cancers.

METHODS: Ten patients with anal canal carcinoma previously treated with IMRT in our institution were selected for this study. For each patient, three plans were generated with the planning CT scan: one using a fixed beam IMRT, and two plans using the RapidArc technique: a single (RA1) and a double (RA2) modulated arc therapy. The treatment plan was designed to deliver in one process with simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) a dose of 59.4 Gy to the planning target volume (PTV2) based on the gross disease in a 1.8 Gy-daily fraction, 5 days a week. At the same time, the subclinical disease (PTV1) was planned to receive 49.5 Gy in a 1.5 Gy-daily fraction. Plans were normalized to 99% of the PTV2 that received 95% of the prescribed dose. Planning objectives were 95% of the PTV1 will receive 95% of the prescribed dose and no more than 2% of the PTV will receive more than 107%. Dose-volume histograms (DVH) for the target volume and the organs at risk (bowel tract, bladder, iliac crests, femoral heads, genitalia/perineum, and healthy tissue) were compared for these different techniques. Monitor units (MU) and delivery treatment time were also reported.

RESULTS: All plans achieved fulfilled objectives. Both IMRT and RA2 resulted in superior coverage of PTV than RA1 that was slightly inferior for conformity and homogeneity (p < 0.05).Conformity index (CI95%) for the PTV2 was 1.15 ± 0.15 (RA2), 1.28 ± 0.22 (IMRT), and 1.79 ± 0.5 (RA1). Homogeneity (D5% - D95%) for PTV2 was 3.21 ± 1.16 Gy (RA2), 2.98 ± 0.7 Gy (IMRT), and 4.3 ± 1.3 Gy (RA1). RapidArc showed to be superior to IMRT in terms of organ at risk sparing. For bowel tract, the mean dose was reduced of 4 Gy by RA2 compared to IMRT. Similar trends were observed for bladder, femoral heads, and genitalia. The DVH of iliac crests and healthy tissue resulted in comparable sparing for the low doses (V10 and V20). Compared to IMRT, mean MUs for each fraction was significantly reduced with RapidArc (p = 0.0002) and the treatment time was reduced by a 6-fold extent.

CONCLUSION: For patients suffering from anal canal cancer, RapidArc with 2 arcs was able to deliver equivalent treatment plan to IMRT in terms of PTV coverage. It provided a better organ at risk sparing and significant reductions of MU and treatment time per fraction.

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