Medical Physics Contribution| Volume 48, ISSUE 2, P90-97, June 2023

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Dosimetric assessment of the mono and dual-isocentric VMAT technique based on flattening filter-free beams for SBRT with non-contiguous spinal targets

Published:February 24, 2023DOI:


      The study aimed to evaluate the planning characteristics of spinal stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) using mono- and dual-isocentric volumetrically modulated arc therapy (VMAT) techniques. The dosimetric indices were compared between different beam arrangement techniques for spinal SBRT planning, including spinal cord avoidance, planning target volume (PTV) dose coverage, conformity, homogeneity, and gradient index. A total of 8 PTVs were contoured on RANDO phantom computed tomography (CT) images, with 4 PTVs per section of the spine (thoracic and lumbar). VMAT plans for each PTV were generated using 4 different beam arrangement techniques with a 6-MV FFF photon beam, two of which were mono-isocentric (MI) and 2 of which were dual-isocentric (DI). Dose calculations for all plans were performed using the Acuros XB algorithm. The study found that when non-contiguous spinal lesions are widely spaced, it may be more effective to use 4-Arcs DI to generate a better homogeneity index and gradient index, whereas 2-Arcs MI was beneficial for closely spaced lesions. Furthermore, the use of more arcs with a dual isocenter reduced the volume of partial cord receiving 10 Gy (V10Gy), maximum dose to 0.03 cc of partial cord (D0.03cc), and monitor units (MUs). The results showed that DI has a higher plan quality than MI for treating non-contiguous spine SBRT, with better homogeneity and a lower dose to the spinal cord, as well as comparable tumor coverage, delivery accuracy, and adequate tumour coverage. 4-Arcs DI had the sharpest dose falloff and achieved the lowest overall spinal cord doses at the expense of twice the treatment time as 2Arcs-MI. These results could help figure out which VMAT beam arrangements are best for treating non-contiguous spinal tumors.


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