Impact of small MU/segment and dose rate on delivery accuracy of volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT)

Long Huang, Tingliang Zhuang, Anthony Mastroianni, Toufik Djemil, Taoran Cui, Ping Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans may require more control points (or segments) than some of fixed-beam IMRT plans that are created with a limited number of segments. Increasing number of control points in a VMAT plan for a given prescription dose could create a large portion of the total number of segments with small number monitor units (MUs) per segment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of the small number MU/segment on the delivery accuracy of VMAT delivered with various dose rates. Ten patient datasets were planned for hippocampus sparing for whole brain irradiation. For each dataset, two VMAT plans were created with maximum dose rates of 600 MU/min (the maximum field size of 21 × 40 cm2) and 1000 MU/min (the maximum field size of 15 × 15 cm2) for a daily dose of 3 Gy. Without reoptimization, the daily dose of these plans was purposely reduced to 1.5 Gy and 1.0 Gy while keeping the same total dose. Using the two dose rates and three different daily doses, six VMAT plans for each dataset were delivered to a physical phantom to investigate how the changes of dose rate and daily doses impact on delivery accuracy. Using the gamma index, we directly compared the delivered planar dose profiles with the reduced daily doses (1.5 Gy and 1.0 Gy) to the delivered planar dose at 3 Gy daily dose, delivered at dose rate of 600 MU/min and 1000 MU/min, respectively. The average numbers of segments with MU/segment = 1 were 35 ± 8, 87 ± 6 for VMAT-600 1.5 Gy, VMAT-600 1 Gy plans, and 30 ± 7 and 42 ± 6 for VMAT-1000 1.5 Gy and VMAT-1000 1 Gy plans, respectively. When delivered at 600 MU/min dose rate, the average gamma index passing rates (1%/1 mm criteria) of comparing delivered 1.5 Gy VMAT planar dose profiles to 3.0 Gy VMAT delivered planar dose profiles was 98.28% ± 1.66%, and the average gamma index passing rate of comparing delivered 1.0 Gy VMAT planar dose to 3.0 Gy VMAT delivered planar dose was 83.75% ± 4.86%. If using 2%/2mm and 3%/3 mm criteria, the gamma index passing rates were greater than 97% for both 1.5 Gy VMAT and 1.0 Gy VMAT delivered planar doses. At 1000MU/min dose rate, the average gamma index passing rates were 96.59% ± 2.70% for 1.5 Gy VMAT planar dose profiles and 79.37% ± 9.96% for 1.0 Gy VMAT planar dose profiles when compared to the 3.0 Gy VMAT planar delivered dose profile. When using 2%/2 mm and 3%/3 mm criteria, the gamma index passing rates were greater than 93% for both 1.5 Gy VMAT and 1.0 Gy VMAT planar delivered dose. Under a stricter gamma index criterion (1%/1 mm), significant differences in delivered planar dose profiles at different daily doses were detected, indicating that the known communication delay between the MU console and MLC console may affect VMAT delivery accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Delivery quality
  • High dose rate
  • Quality assurance
  • Small segment
  • VMAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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