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Radiother Oncol. 2009 Nov;93(2):226-33. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2009.08.011. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) vs. serial tomotherapy, step-and-shoot IMRT and 3D-conformal RT for treatment of prostate cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology of the University Medical Center Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.



Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), a complex treatment strategy for intensity-modulated radiation therapy, may increase treatment efficiency and has recently been established clinically. This analysis compares VMAT against established IMRT and 3D-conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) delivery techniques.


Based on CT datasets of 9 patients treated for prostate cancer step-and-shoot IMRT, serial tomotherapy (MIMiC), 3D-CRT and VMAT were compared with regard to plan quality and treatment efficiency. Two VMAT approaches (one rotation (VMAT1x) and one rotation plus a second 200 degrees rotation (VMAT2x)) were calculated for the plan comparison. Plan quality was assessed by calculating homogeneity and conformity index (HI and CI), dose to normal tissue (non-target) and D(95%) (dose encompassing 95% of the target volume). For plan efficiency evaluation, treatment time and number of monitor units (MU) were considered.


For MIMiC/IMRT(MLC)/VMAT2x/VMAT1x/3D-CRT, mean CI was 1.5/1.23/1.45/1.51/1.46 and HI was 1.19/1.1/1.09/1.11/1.04. For a prescribed dose of 76 Gy, mean doses to organs-at-risk (OAR) were 50.69 Gy/53.99 Gy/60.29 Gy/61.59 Gy/66.33 Gy for the anterior half of the rectum and 31.85 Gy/34.89 Gy/38.75 Gy/38.57 Gy/55.43 Gy for the posterior rectum. Volumes of non-target normal tissue receiving > or =70% of prescribed dose (53 Gy) were 337 ml/284 ml/482 ml/505 ml/414 ml, for > or =50% (38 Gy) 869 ml/933 ml/1155 ml/1231 ml/1993 ml and for > or =30% (23 Gy) 2819 ml/3414 ml/3340 ml/3438 ml /3061 ml. D(95%) was 69.79 Gy/70.51 Gy/71,7 Gy/71.59 Gy/73.42 Gy. Mean treatment time was 12 min/6 min/3.7 min/1.8 min/2.5 min.


All approaches yield treatment plans of improved quality when compared to 3D-conformal treatments, with serial tomotherapy providing best OAR sparing and VMAT being the most efficient treatment option in our comparison. Plans which were calculated with 3D-CRT provided good target coverage but resulted in higher dose to the rectum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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