To compare relative carotid and normal tissue sparing using volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for early-stage larynx cancer. Seven treatment plans were retrospectively created on 2 commercial treatment planning systems for 11 consecutive patients with T1-2N0 larynx cancer. Conventional plans consisted of opposed-wedged fields. IMRT planning used an anterior 3-field beam arrangement. Two VMAT plans were created, a full 360° arc and an anterior 180° arc. Given planning target volume (PTV) coverage of 95% total volume at 95% of 6300 cGy and maximum spinal cord dose below 2500 cGy, mean carotid artery dose was pushed as low as possible for each plan. Deliverability was assessed by comparing measured and planned planar dose with the gamma (γ) index. Full-arc planning provided the most effective carotid sparing but yielded the highest mean normal tissue dose (where normal tissue was defined as all soft tissue minus PTV). Static IMRT produced next-best carotid sparing with lower normal tissue dose. The anterior half-arc produced the highest carotid artery dose, in some cases comparable with conventional opposed fields. On the whole, carotid sparing was inversely related to normal tissue dose sparing. Mean γ indexes were much less than 1, consistent with accurate delivery of planned treatment. Full-arc VMAT yields greater carotid sparing than half-arc VMAT. Limited-angle IMRT remains a reasonable alternative to full-arc VMAT, given its ability to mediate the competing demands of carotid and normal tissue dose constraints. The respective clinical significance of carotid and normal tissue sparing will require prospective evaluation.
- Carotid artery
- Head and neck cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging