Dosimetric and efficiency comparison of high-dose radiotherapy for esophageal cancer: volumetric modulated arc therapy versus fixed-field intensity-modulated radiotherapy

C-Y Lin, W-Y Huang, Y-M Jen, C-M Chen, Y-F Su, H-L Chao, C-S Lin
Diseases of the Esophagus: Official Journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus 2014, 27 (6): 585-90
The aim of this study was to compare high-dose volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and fixed-field intensity-modulated radiotherapy (ff-IMRT) plans for the treatment of patients with middle-thoracic esophageal cancer. Eight patients with cT2-3N0M0 middle-thoracic esophageal cancer were enrolled. The treatment planning system was the version 9 of the Pinnacle(3) with SmartArc (Philips Healthcare, Fitchburg, WI, USA). VMAT and ff-IMRT treatment plans were generated for each case, and both techniques were used to deliver 50 Gy to the planning target volume (PTV(50)) and then provided a 16-Gy boost (PTV(66)). The VMAT plans provided superior PTV(66) coverage compared with the ff-IMRT plans (P = 0.034), whereas the ff-IMRT plans provided more appropriate dose homogeneity to the PTV(50) (P = 0.017). In the lung, the V(5) and V(10) were lower for the ff-IMRT plans than for the VMAT plans, whereas the V(20) was lower for the VMAT plans. The delivery time was significantly shorter for the VMAT plans than for the ff-IMRT plans (P = 0.012). In addition, the VMAT plans delivered fewer monitor units. The VMAT technique required a shorter planning time than the ff-IMRT technique (3.8 ± 0.8 hours vs. 5.4 ± 0.6 hours, P = 0.011). The major advantages of VMAT plans are higher efficiency and an approximately 50% reduction in delivery time compared with the ff-IMRT plans, with comparable plan quality. Further clinical investigations to evaluate the use of high-dose VMAT for the treatment of esophageal cancer are warranted.

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