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      A Hybrid IMRT/VMAT Technique for the Treatment of Nasopharyngeal Cancer

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          Hybrid IMRT/VMAT technique which combined intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) was developed for the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Two-full-arc VMAT (2ARC-VMAT), 9-field IMRT (9F-IMRT), and Hybrid IMRT/VMAT plans for NPC were compared in terms of the dosimetric quality, sparing of organs at risk (OARs), and delivery efficiency. The Hybrid IMRT/VMAT technique can improve the target dose homogeneity and conformity compared with 9F-IMRT and 2ARC-VMAT. It can reduce the dose delivered to the TMJ, mandible, temporal lobe, and unspecified tissue with fewer MUs compared with 9F-IMRT and dose delivered to parotids, brainstem, and spinal cord compared with 2ARC-VMAT technique. The mean delivery time of Hybrid plans was shorter than that of 9F-IMRT plans (408 s versus 812 s; P = 0.00) and longer than that of 2ARC-VMAT plans (408 s versus 179 s; P = 0.00). Hybrid IMRT/VMAT technique could be a viable radiotherapy technique with better plan quality.

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          Most cited references 32

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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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            Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, protons, and the risk of second cancers.

             Daniel Hall (2006)
            Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows dose to be concentrated in the tumor volume while sparing normal tissues. However, the downside to IMRT is the potential to increase the number of radiation-induced second cancers. The reasons for this potential are more monitor units and, therefore, a larger total-body dose because of leakage radiation and, because IMRT involves more fields, a bigger volume of normal tissue is exposed to lower radiation doses. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy may double the incidence of solid cancers in long-term survivors. This outcome may be acceptable in older patients if balanced by an improvement in local tumor control and reduced acute toxicity. On the other hand, the incidence of second cancers is much higher in children, so that doubling it may not be acceptable. IMRT represents a special case for children for three reasons. First, children are more sensitive to radiation-induced cancer than are adults. Second, radiation scattered from the treatment volume is more important in the small body of the child. Third, the question of genetic susceptibility arises because many childhood cancers involve a germline mutation. The levels of leakage radiation in current Linacs are not inevitable. Leakage can be reduced but at substantial cost. An alternative strategy is to replace X-rays with protons. However, this change is only an advantage if the proton machine employs a pencil scanning beam. Many proton facilities use passive modulation to produce a field of sufficient size, but the use of a scattering foil produces neutrons, which results in an effective dose to the patient higher than that characteristic of IMRT. The benefit of protons is only achieved if a scanning beam is used in which the doses are 10 times lower than with IMRT.
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              A conformation number to quantify the degree of conformality in brachytherapy and external beam irradiation: application to the prostate.

              This article presents a method of quantitative assessment of the degree of conformality and its designation by a single numerical value. A conformation number is introduced to evaluate objectively the degree of conformality. A comparison is made between the conformation number as found for external beam treatment plans and ultrasonically guided 125I seed implants for localized prostate cancer. The conformation number in case of a planning target volume irradiated with two opposed open beams, three open beams, and three beams with customized blocks amounted to 0.17, 0.39, and 0.65, respectively. The conformation number as found for ultrasonically guided permanent prostate implants using 125I seeds averaged 0.72. The conformation number is a convenient instrument for indicating the degree of conformality by a single numerical value. Treatments with a conformation number greater than 0.60 might be termed conformal radiotherapy.

                Author and article information

                Department of Radiation Oncology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Manoor Prakash Hande

                Biomed Res Int
                Biomed Res Int
                BioMed Research International
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                21 January 2015
                : 2015
                Copyright © 2015 Nan Zhao et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article


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