Research Article|Articles in Press

Improvement of target coverage using automated non-coplanar volumetric modulated arc therapy planning in stereotactic radiotherapy for cervical metastatic spinal tumors


      This study aimed to compare dosimetric parameters for targets and organs at risk (OARs) between volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and automated VMAT (HyperArc, HA) plans in stereotactic radiotherapy for patients with cervical metastatic spine tumors. VMAT plans were generated for 11 metastases using the simultaneous integrated boost technique to deliver 35 to 40 and 20 to 25 Gy for high dose and elective dose planning target volume (PTVHD and PTVED), respectively. The HA plans were retrospectively generated using 1 coplanar and 2 noncoplanar arcs. Subsequently, the doses to the targets and OARs were compared. The HA plans provided significantly higher (p < 0.05) Dmin (77.4 ± 13.1%), D99% (89.3 ± 8.9%), and D98% (92.5 ± 7.7%) for gross tumor volume (GTV) than those of the VMAT plans (73.4 ± 12.2%, 84.2 ± 9.6 and 87.3 ± 8.8% for Dmin, D99% and D98%, respectively). In addition, D99% and D98% for PTVHD were significantly higher in the HA plans, whereas dosimetric parameters were comparable between the HA and VMAT plans for PTVED. The Dmax values for the brachial plexus, esophagus, and spinal cord were comparable, and no significant difference was observed in the Dmean for the larynx, pharyngeal constrictor, thyroid, parotid grand (left and right), and Submandibular gland (left and right). The HA plans provided significantly higher target coverage of GTV and PTVHD, with a comparable dose for OARs with VMAT plans. The results of this study may contribute to the improvement of local control in clinical practice.


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