Volumetric-modulated arc therapy for stereotactic body radiotherapy of lung tumors: a comparison with intensity-modulated radiotherapy techniques

Andrea Holt, Corine van Vliet-Vroegindeweij, Anton Mans, José S Belderbos, Eugène M F Damen
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2011 December 1, 81 (5): 1560-7

PURPOSE: To demonstrate the potential of volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) compared with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) techniques with a limited number of segments for stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for early-stage lung cancer.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: For a random selection of 27 patients eligible for SBRT, coplanar and noncoplanar IMRT and coplanar VMAT (using SmartArc) treatment plans were generated in Pinnacle(3) and compared. In addition, film measurements were performed using an anthropomorphic phantom to evaluate the skin dose for the different treatment techniques.

RESULTS: Using VMAT, the delivery times could be reduced to an average of 6.6 min compared with 23.7 min with noncoplanar IMRT. The mean dose to the healthy lung was 4.1 Gy for VMAT and noncoplanar IMRT and 4.2 Gy for coplanar IMRT. The volume of healthy lung receiving>5 Gy and >20 Gy was 18.0% and 5.4% for VMAT, 18.5% and 5.0% for noncoplanar IMRT, and 19.4% and 5.7% for coplanar IMRT, respectively. The dose conformity at 100% and 50% of the prescribed dose of 54 Gy was 1.13 and 5.17 for VMAT, 1.11 and 4.80 for noncoplanar IMRT and 1.12 and 5.31 for coplanar IMRT, respectively. The measured skin doses were comparable for VMAT and noncoplanar IMRT and slightly greater for coplanar IMRT.

CONCLUSIONS: Coplanar VMAT for SBRT for early-stage lung cancer achieved plan quality and skin dose levels comparable to those using noncoplanar IMRT and slightly better than those with coplanar IMRT. In addition, the delivery time could be reduced by ≤70% with VMAT.

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