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Med Dosim. 2012 Summer;37(2):175-81. doi: 10.1016/j.meddos.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Aug 20.

Total dural irradiation: RapidArc versus static-field IMRT: a case study.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


The purpose of this study was to compare conventional fixed-gantry angle intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with RapidArc for total dural irradiation. We also hypothesize that target volume-individualized collimator angles may produce substantial normal tissue sparing when planning with RapidArc. Five-, 7-, and 9-field fixed-gantry angle sliding-window IMRT plans were generated for comparison with RapidArc plans. Optimization and normal tissue constraints were constant for all plans. All plans were normalized so that 95% of the planning target volume (PTV) received at least 100% of the dose. RapidArc was delivered using 350° clockwise and counterclockwise arcs. Conventional collimator angles of 45° and 315° were compared with 90° on both arcs. Dose prescription was 59.4 Gy in 33 fractions. PTV metrics used for comparison were coverage, V(107)%, D1%, conformality index (CI(95)%), and heterogeneity index (D(5)%-D(95)%). Brain dose, the main challenge of this case, was compared using D(1)%, Dmean, and V(5) Gy. Dose to optic chiasm, optic nerves, globes, and lenses was also compared. The use of unconventional collimator angles (90° on both arcs) substantially reduced dose to normal brain. All plans achieved acceptable target coverage. Homogeneity was similar for RapidArc and 9-field IMRT plans. However, heterogeneity increased with decreasing number of IMRT fields, resulting in unacceptable hotspots within the brain. Conformality was marginally better with RapidArc relative to IMRT. Low dose to brain, as indicated by V5Gy, was comparable in all plans. Doses to organs at risk (OARs) showed no clinically meaningful differences. The number of monitor units was lower and delivery time was reduced with RapidArc. The case-individualized RapidArc plan compared favorably with the 9-field conventional IMRT plan. In view of lower monitor unit requirements and shorter delivery time, RapidArc was selected as the optimal solution. Individualized collimator angle solutions should be considered by RapidArc dosimetrists for OARs dose reduction. RapidArc should be considered as a treatment modality for tumors that extensively involve in the skull, dura, or scalp.

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