Intrafraction Motion in Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Versus Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy

Maddalena M G Rossi, Heike M U Peulen, Josè S A Belderbos, Jan-Jakob Sonke
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2016 June 1, 95 (2): 835-43

PURPOSE: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for early-stage inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients delivers high doses that require high-precision treatment. Typically, image guidance is used to minimize day-to-day target displacement, but intrafraction position variability is often not corrected. Currently, volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is replacing intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in many departments because of its shorter delivery time. This study aimed to evaluate whether intrafraction variation in VMAT patients is reduced in comparison with patients treated with IMRT.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: NSCLC patients (197 IMRT and 112 VMAT) treated with a frameless SBRT technique to a prescribed dose of 3 × 18 Gy were evaluated. Image guidance for both techniques was identical: pretreatment cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) (CBCTprecorr) for setup correction followed immediately before treatment by postcorrection CBCT (CBCTpostcorr) for verification. Then, after either a noncoplanar IMRT technique or a VMAT technique, a posttreatment (CBCTpostRT) scan was acquired. The CBCTpostRT and CBCTpostcorr scans were then used to evaluate intrafraction motion. Treatment delivery times, systematic (Σ) and random (σ) intrafraction variations, and associated planning target volume (PTV) margins were calculated.

RESULTS: The median treatment delivery time was significantly reduced by 20 minutes (range, 32-12 minutes) using VMAT compared with noncoplanar IMRT. Intrafraction tumor motion was significantly larger for IMRT in all directions up to 0.5 mm systematic (Σ) and 0.7 mm random (σ). The required PTV margins for IMRT and VMAT differed by less than 0.3 mm.

CONCLUSION: VMAT-based SBRT for NSCLC was associated with significantly shorter delivery times and correspondingly smaller intrafraction motion compared with noncoplanar IMRT. However, the impact on the required PTV margin was small.


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