A dosimetric comparison of tomotherapy and volumetric modulated arc therapy in the treatment of high-risk prostate cancer with pelvic nodal radiation therapy

David Pasquier, Fabrice Cavillon, Thomas Lacornerie, Claire Touzeau, Emmanuelle Tresch, Eric Lartigau
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2013 February 1, 85 (2): 549-54

PURPOSE: To compare the dosimetric results of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and helical tomotherapy (HT) in the treatment of high-risk prostate cancer with pelvic nodal radiation therapy.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Plans were generated for 10 consecutive patients treated for high-risk prostate cancer with prophylactic whole pelvic radiation therapy (WPRT) using VMAT and HT. After WPRT, a sequential boost was delivered to the prostate. Plan quality was assessed according to the criteria of the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements 83 report: the near-minimal (D98%), near-maximal (D2%), and median (D50%) doses; the homogeneity index (HI); and the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC). Beam-on time, integral dose, and several organs at risk (OAR) dosimetric indexes were also compared.

RESULTS: For WPRT, HT was able to provide a higher D98% than VMAT (44.3 ± 0.3 Gy and 43.9 ± 0.5 Gy, respectively; P=.032) and a lower D2% than VMAT (47.3 ± 0.3 Gy and 49.1 ± 0.7 Gy, respectively; P=.005), leading to a better HI. The DSC was better for WPRT with HT (0.89 ± 0.009) than with VMAT (0.80 ± 0.02; P=.002). The dosimetric indexes for the prostate boost did not differ significantly. VMAT provided better rectum wall sparing at higher doses (V70, V75, D2%). Conversely, HT provided better bladder wall sparing (V50, V60, V70), except at lower doses (V20). The beam-on times for WPRT and prostate boost were shorter with VMAT than with HT (3.1 ± 0.1 vs 7.4 ± 0.6 min, respectively; P=.002, and 1.5 ± 0.05 vs 3.7 ± 0.3 min, respectively; P=.002). The integral dose was slightly lower for VMAT.

CONCLUSION: VMAT and HT provided very similar and highly conformal plans that complied well with OAR dose-volume constraints. Although some dosimetric differences were statistically significant, they remained small. HT provided a more homogeneous dose distribution, whereas VMAT enabled a shorter delivery time.

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