4D VMAT, gated VMAT, and 3D VMAT for stereotactic body radiation therapy in lung

E Chin, S K Loewen, A Nichol, K Otto
Physics in Medicine and Biology 2013 February 21, 58 (4): 749-70
Four-dimensional volumetric modulated arc therapy (4D VMAT) is a treatment strategy for lung cancers that aims to exploit relative target and tissue motion to improve organ at risk (OAR) sparing. The algorithm incorporates the entire patient respiratory cycle using 4D CT data into the optimization process. Resulting treatment plans synchronize the delivery of each beam aperture to a specific phase of target motion. Stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment plans for 4D VMAT, gated VMAT, and 3D VMAT were generated on three patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Tumour motion ranged from 1.4-3.4 cm. The dose and fractionation scheme was 48 Gy in four fractions. A B-spline transformation model registered the 4D CT images. 4D dose volume histograms (4D DVH) were calculated from total dose accumulated at the maximum exhalation. For the majority of OARs, gated VMAT achieved the most radiation sparing but treatment times were 77-148% longer than 3D VMAT. 4D VMAT plan qualities were comparable to gated VMAT, but treatment times were only 11-25% longer than 3D VMAT. 4D VMAT's improvement of healthy tissue sparing can allow for further dose escalation. Future study could potentially adapt 4D VMAT to irregular patient breathing patterns.

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