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Dose–volume comparison of intensity modulated proton therapy and volumetric modulated arc therapy for cervical esophageal cancer

      Abstract

      Proton therapy for cervical esophageal cancer has many issues to be considered, such as the physiological curvature of the spine and the large range change from the neck to the trunk. We clarified the dosimetric characteristics of intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) for cervical esophageal cancer by comparing with volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Ten patients with cervical esophageal cancer were retrospectively planned for VMAT, 2-field IMPT (2F-IMPT), and 3-field IMPT (3F-IMPT). All plans were optimized to reach clinically acceptable levels. For planning target volume (PTV) coverage, 95% of the PTV should be covered by 95% of the prescription dose, unless the spinal cord limit is violated. The organs at risk included the lung, spinal cord, larynx, skin, and whole body. The prescription dose was 60 Gy relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in 30 fractions to the PTV. We compared the results according to dose–volume metrics. Significant dose reductions were achieved at lung doses, especially at low dose volumes of 20 Gy RBE or less in IMPT plans compared with VMAT plans (p < 0.05). Although the spinal cord PRV was below the tolerance level, the results were also significantly higher in VMAT plans than in IMPT plans (p < 0.001). Spinal cord PRV Dmean was significantly higher in 3F-IMPT than in 2F-IMPT (p < 0.001). In addition, it was confirmed that the integral whole body dose can be dramatically reduced in IMPT plans compared with VMAT plans. Both of 2F-IMPT and 3F-IMPT could effectively reduce spinal cord dose, as well as low integral whole body dose to a certain extent, while maintaining similar target coverage compared to VMAT. IMPT could be a promising treatment technique for patients with cervical esophageal cancer.

      Keywords

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