Research Article| Volume 48, ISSUE 2, P82-89, June 2023

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Lung SBRT treatment planning: a study of VMAT arc selection guided by collision check software

Published:February 06, 2023DOI:


      To evaluate the effects of arc geometry on lung stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) plan quality, using collision check software to select safe beam angles. Thirty lung SBRT cases were replanned 10Gy x 5 using 4 volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) geometries: coplanar lateral (cpLAT), coplanar oblique (cpOBL), noncoplanar lateral (ncpLAT) and noncoplanar oblique (ncpOBL). Lateral arcs spanned 180° on the affected side whereas the 180° oblique arcs crossed midline to spare healthy tissues. Couch angles were separated by 30° on noncoplanar plans. Clearance was verified with Radformation CollisionCheck software. Optimization objectives were the same across the four plans for each case. Planning target volume (PTV) coverage was set to 95% and then plans were evaluated for dose conformity, healthy tissue doses, and monitor units. Clinically treated plans were used to benchmark the results. The volumes of the 25%, 50% and 75% isodoses were smaller with noncoplanar than coplanar arcs. The volume of the 50% isodose line relative to the PTV (CI50%) was as follows: clinical 3.75±0.72, cpLAT 3.39 ± 0.37, cpOBL 3.36 ± 0.34, ncpLAT 3.02 ± 0.21 and ncpOBL 3.02 ± 0.22. The Wilcoxon signed rank test with Bonferroni correction showed p < 0.005 in all CI50% comparisons except between the cpLat and cpObl arcs and between the ncpLat and ncpObl arcs. The best lung sparing was achieved using ncpObl arcs, which was statistically significant (p < 0.001) compared with the other four plans at V12.5Gy, V13.5Gy and V20Gy. Chest wall V30Gy was significantly better using noncoplanar arcs in comparison to the other plan types (p < 0.001). The best heart sparing at V10Gy from the ncpOBL arcs was significant compared with the clinical and cpLat plans (p < 0.005). Arc geometry has a substantial effect on lung SBRT plan quality. Noncoplanar arcs were superior to coplanar arcs at compacting the dose distribution at the 25%, 50% and 75% isodose levels, thereby reducing the dose to healthy tissues. Further healthy tissue sparing was achieved using oblique arcs that minimize the pathlength through healthy tissues and avoid organs at risk. The dosimetric advantages of the noncoplanar and oblique arcs require careful beam angle selection during treatment planning to avoid collisions during treatment, which may be facilitated by commercial software.


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