Comparing Radiation Treatments Using Intensity-Modulated Beams, Multiple Arcs, and Single Arcs
A dosimetric comparison of multiple static-field intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), multiarc intensity-modulated arc therapy (IMAT), and single-arc arc-modulated radiation therapy (AMRT) was performed to evaluate their clinical advantages and shortcomings. Twelve cases were selected for this study, including three head-and-neck, three brain, three lung, and three prostate cases. An IMRT, IMAT, and AMRT plan was generated for each of the cases, with clinically relevant planning constraints. For a fair comparison, the same parameters were used for the IMRT, IMAT, and AMRT planning for each patient. Multiarc IMAT provided the best plan quality, while single-arc AMRT achieved dose distributions comparable to those of IMRT, especially in the complicated head-and-neck and brain cases. Both AMRT and IMAT showed effective normal tissue sparing without compromising target coverage and delivered a lower total dose to the surrounding normal tissues in some cases. IMAT provides the most uniform and conformal dose distributions, especially for the cases with large and complex targets, but with a delivery time similar to that of IMRT; whereas AMRT achieves results comparable to IMRT with significantly faster treatment delivery.