The Effect of Flattening Filter Free on Three-dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT), Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) Plans for Metastatic Brain Tumors from Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Li-Wan Shi, You-Qun Lai, Qin Lin, Hui-Ming Ha, Li-Rong Fu
Health Physics 2015, 109 (1): 1-9
Flattening filter free (FFF) may affect outcome measures of radiotherapy. The objective of this study is to compare the dosimetric parameters in three types of radiotherapy plans, three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), with or without the flattening filter (FF), developed for the treatment of metastatic brain tumors from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). From July 2013 to October 2013, 3D-CRT, IMRT, and VMAT treatment plans were designed using 6 MV and 10 MV, with and without FF, for 10 patients with brain metastasis from NSCLC. The evaluation of the treatment plans included homogeneity index (HI), conformity index (CI), monitor units (MU), mean dose (Dmean), treatment time, and the influence of FFF on volumes. There was no difference in CI or HI between FFF and FF models with 3D-CRT, IMRT, and VMAT plans. At 6 MV, a lower Dmean was seen in the FFF model of 3D-CRT and in the VMAT plan at 10 MV. In the IMRT 6 MV, IMRT 10 MV, and VMAT 10 MV plans, higher MUs were seen in the FFF models. FFF treatments are similar in quality to FF plans, generally lead to more monitor units, and are associated with shorter treatment times. FFF plans ranked by the order of superiority in terms of a time advantage are VMAT, 3D-CRT, and IMRT.

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