ABSTRACT: Several studies have demonstrated that volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) has the ability to reduce monitor units and treatment time when compared with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This study aims to demonstrate that VMAT is able to provide adequate organs at risk (OAR) sparing and planning target volume (PTV) coverage for adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus while reducing monitor units and treatment time. Fourteen patients having been treated previously for esophageal cancer were planned using both VMAT and IMRT techniques. Dosimetric quality was evaluated based on doses to several OARs, as well as coverage of the PTV. Treatment times were assessed by recording the number of monitor units required for dose delivery. Body V(5) was also recorded to evaluate the increased volume of healthy tissue irradiated to low doses. Dosimetric differences in OAR sparing between VMAT and IMRT were comparable. PTV coverage was similar for the 2 techniques but it was found that IMRT was capable of delivering a slightly more homogenous dose distribution. Of the 14 patients, 12 were treated with a single arc and 2 were treated with a double arc. Single-arc plans reduced monitor units by 42% when compared with the IMRT plans. Double-arc plans reduced monitor units by 67% when compared with IMRT. The V(5) for the body was found to be 18% greater for VMAT than for IMRT. VMAT has the capability to decrease treatment times over IMRT while still providing similar OAR sparing and PTV coverage. Although there will be a smaller risk of patient movement during VMAT treatments, this advantage comes at the cost of delivering small doses to a greater volume of the patient.
Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 03/2011; 36(4):404-9. · 1.26 Impact Factor