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Single arc volumetric-modulated arc therapy is sufficient for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a dosimetric comparison with dual arc VMAT and dynamic MLC and step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiotherapy

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      Abstract

      Background

      The performance of single arc VMAT (VMAT1) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) on the Axesse linac has not been well described in previous studies. The purpose of this study is to assess the feasibility of VMAT1 for NPC by comparing the dosimetry, delivery efficiency, and accuracy with dual arc VMAT (VMAT2), dynamic MLC intensity-modulated radiotherapy (dIMRT), and step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiotherapy (ssIMRT).

      Methods

      Twenty consecutive patients with non-metastatic NPC were selected to be planned with VMAT1, VMAT2, dIMRT and ssIMRT using Monaco 3.2 TPS on the Axesse™ linear accelerator. Three planning target volumes (PTVs), contoured as high risk, moderate risk and low risk regions, were set to receive median absorbed-dose (D 50%) of 72.6 Gy, 63.6 Gy and 54 Gy, respectively. The Homogeneity Index (HI), Conformity Index (CI), Dose Volume Histograms (DVHs), delivery efficiency and accuracy were all evaluated.

      Results

      Mean HI of PTV 72.6 is better with VMAT1(0.07) and VMAT2(0.07) than dIMRT(0.09) and ssIMRT(0.09). Mean HI of PTV 63.6 is better with VMAT1(0.21) and VMAT2(0.21) than dIMRT and ssIMRT. Mean CI of PTV 72.6 is also better with VMAT1(0.57) and VMAT2(0.57) than dIMRT(0.49) and ssIMRT(0.5). Mean CI of PTV 63.6 is better with VMAT1(0.76) and VMAT2(0.76) than dIMRT(0.73) and ssIMRT(0.73). VMAT had significantly improved homogeneity and conformity compared with IMRT. There was no significant difference between VMAT1 and VMAT2 in PTV coverage. Dose to normal tissues was acceptable for all four plan groups. VMAT1 and VMAT2 showed no significant difference in normal tissue sparring, whereas the mean dose of the parotid gland of dIMRT was significantly reduced compared to VMAT1 and VMAT2. The mean delivery time for VMAT1, VMAT2, dIMRT and ssIMRT was 2.7 min, 3.9 min, 5.7 min and 14.1 min, respectively. VMAT1 reduced the average delivery time by 29.8%, 51.1% and 80.8% compared with VMAT2, dIMRT and ssIMRT, respectively. VMAT and IMRT could all be delivered accurately based on our quality assurance standards.

      Conclusions

      In the treatment of NPC using the Axesse™ linear accelerator, single arc VMAT has shown superiority to double arc VMAT, dIMRT and ssIMRT in delivery efficiency, without compromise to the PTV coverage. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of OAR sparing.

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      Most cited references 27

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      Volumetric modulated arc therapy: IMRT in a single gantry arc.

      In this work a novel plan optimization platform is presented where treatment is delivered efficiently and accurately in a single dynamically modulated arc. Improvements in patient care achieved through image-guided positioning and plan adaptation have resulted in an increase in overall treatment times. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has also increased treatment time by requiring a larger number of beam directions, increased monitor units (MU), and, in the case of tomotherapy, a slice-by-slice delivery. In order to maintain a similar level of patient throughput it will be necessary to increase the efficiency of treatment delivery. The solution proposed here is a novel aperture-based algorithm for treatment plan optimization where dose is delivered during a single gantry arc of up to 360 deg. The technique is similar to tomotherapy in that a full 360 deg of beam directions are available for optimization but is fundamentally different in that the entire dose volume is delivered in a single source rotation. The new technique is referred to as volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Multileaf collimator (MLC) leaf motion and number of MU per degree of gantry rotation is restricted during the optimization so that gantry rotation speed, leaf translation speed, and dose rate maxima do not excessively limit the delivery efficiency. During planning, investigators model continuous gantry motion by a coarse sampling of static gantry positions and fluence maps or MLC aperture shapes. The technique presented here is unique in that gantry and MLC position sampling is progressively increased throughout the optimization. Using the full gantry range will theoretically provide increased flexibility in generating highly conformal treatment plans. In practice, the additional flexibility is somewhat negated by the additional constraints placed on the amount of MLC leaf motion between gantry samples. A series of studies are performed that characterize the relationship between gantry and MLC sampling, dose modeling accuracy, and optimization time. Results show that gantry angle and MLC sample spacing as low as 1 deg and 0.5 cm, respectively, is desirable for accurate dose modeling. It is also shown that reducing the sample spacing dramatically reduces the ability of the optimization to arrive at a solution. The competing benefits of having small and large sample spacing are mutually realized using the progressive sampling technique described here. Preliminary results show that plans generated with VMAT optimization exhibit dose distributions equivalent or superior to static gantry IMRT. Timing studies have shown that the VMAT technique is well suited for on-line verification and adaptation with delivery times that are reduced to approximately 1.5-3 min for a 200 cGy fraction.
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        How does intensity-modulated radiotherapy versus conventional two-dimensional radiotherapy influence the treatment results in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients?

         Li Liu,  Zhong Liu,  S. Lai (2011)
        To compare the results of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with those of two-dimensional conventional radiotherapy (2D-CRT) in the treatment of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). A retrospective review of data from 1,276 patients with biopsy-proven, nonmetastatic NPC was performed. All patients had undergone magnetic resonance imaging and were staged according to the sixth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging criteria. Radiotherapy was the primary treatment for all patients. Of the 1,276 patients, 512 were treated with IMRT and 764 with 2D-CRT. The 5-year actuarial local relapse-free survival (LRFS), the nodal relapse-free survival (NRFS), the distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and the disease-free survival (DFS) rates were 92.7%, 97.0%, 84.0%, and 75.9%, respectively, for the IMRT group, and 86.8%, 95.5%, 82.6%, and 71.4%, respectively, for the 2D-CRT group. In stage T1 patients, improvement of LRFS in the IMRT group was even significantly higher than in the 2D-CRT group (100% vs. 94.4%; p = 0.016). A trend of improvement of DFS was observed in the IMRT group compared with the 2D-CRT group but without reaching statistical significance. NRFS and DMFS rates were similar in the two groups. A greater improvement of treatment results with IMRT than with 2D-CRT was demonstrated primarily by achieving a higher local tumor control rate in NPC patients, especially in the early T stage patients. The goal of better control of both local failure in advanced, nonmetastatic NPC patients and of distant failure should be addressed in future studies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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          Conformity index: a review.

          We present a critical analysis of the conformity indices described in the literature and an evaluation of their field of application. Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, with or without intensity modulation, is based on medical imaging techniques, three-dimensional dosimetry software, compression accessories, and verification procedures. It consists of delineating target volumes and critical healthy tissues to select the best combination of beams. This approach allows better adaptation of the isodose to the tumor volume, while limiting irradiation of healthy tissues. Tools must be developed to evaluate the quality of proposed treatment plans. Dosimetry software provides the dose distribution in each CT section and dose-volume histograms without really indicating the degree of conformity. The conformity index is a complementary tool that attributes a score to a treatment plan or that can compare several treatment plans for the same patient. The future of conformal index in everyday practice therefore remains unclear.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Radiation Oncology, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Soochow University, 185 Juqian Road, Changzhou 213003, China
            [2 ]Department of Radiation Physics, Elekta China Co. Ltd, 27 North Fourth Ring Mid Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
            [3 ]Department of Oncology, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Soochow University, 185 Juqian Road, Changzhou 213003, China
            Contributors
            Journal
            Radiat Oncol
            Radiat Oncol
            Radiation Oncology (London, England)
            BioMed Central
            1748-717X
            2013
            14 October 2013
            : 8
            : 237
            24125432
            3854543
            1748-717X-8-237
            10.1186/1748-717X-8-237
            Copyright © 2013 Ning et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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