Purpose The 4π static noncoplanar radiation therapy delivery technique has demonstrated better normal tissue sparing and dose conformity than the clinically used volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). It is unclear whether this is a fundamental limitation of VMAT delivery or the coplanar nature of its typical clinical plans. The dosimetry and the limits of normal tissue toxicity constrained dose escalation of coplanar VMAT, noncoplanar VMAT and 4π radiation therapy are quantified in this study. Methods and materials Clinical stereotactic body radiation therapy plans for 20 liver patients receiving 30 to 60 Gy using coplanar VMAT (cVMAT) were replanned using 3 to 4 partial noncoplanar arcs (nVMAT) and 4π with 20 intensity modulated noncoplanar fields. The conformity number, homogeneity index, 50% dose spillage volume, normal liver volume receiving >15 Gy, dose to organs at risk (OARs), and tumor control probability were compared for all 3 treatment plans. The maximum tolerable dose yielding a normal liver normal tissue control probability <1%, 5%, and 10% was calculated with the Lyman-Kutcher-Burman model for each plan as well as the resulting survival fractions at 1, 2, 3, and 4 years. Results Compared with cVMAT, the nVMAT and 4π plans reduced liver volume receiving >15 Gy by an average of 5 cm3 and 80 cm3, respectively. 4π reduced the 50% dose spillage volume by ∼23% compared with both VMAT plans, and either significantly decreased or maintained OAR doses. The 4π maximum tolerable doses and survival fractions were significantly higher than both cVMAT and nVMAT (P <.05) for all normal liver normal tissue control probability limits used in this study. Conclusions The 4π technique provides significantly better OAR sparing than both cVMAT and nVMAT and enables more clinically relevant dose escalation for tumor local control. Therefore, despite the current accessibility of nVMAT, it is not a viable alternative to 4π for liver SBRT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging