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A Comparative Study of Standard IMRT and VMAT Planning Techniques for Unilateral and Bilateral Head & Neck Irradiation

J Pursley

J Pursley*, R B Tishler, D N Margalit, D J Sher, A L Damato, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


SU-E-T-581 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To compare dosimetric properties and monitor units (MU) of IMRT plans with several VMAT head and neck (H&N) plans.

Methods: Seventeen unilateral H&N (UHN) and five bilateral H&N (BHN) patients initially treated with IMRT were replanned with VMAT. Several arc arrangements were studied for each patient: 1)for UHN, two 360° arcs, two 260° arcs, two 210° arcs, two 360° arcs with contralateral avoidance sectors, and 2)for BHN, two 360° arcs, two 360° arcs with bilateral avoidance sectors, two 360° arcs with bilateral avoidance sectors and a third arc limited to the upper neck. Optimization constraints were adjusted for each patient and plan. All plans were normalized to achieve the same highest-dose PTV coverage. Percent differences (IMRT-VMAT)/VMAT in MU, dose homogeneity (HI=maximum point dose/prescription dose), and organ-at-risk (OAR) metrics are reported and statistical significance evaluated (p<0.05; paired Student t-test).

Results: Average reduction in MU with VMAT was 28% for UHN (p<0.0001) and 63% for BHN (p<0.0001). Average HI for UHN IMRT and 360° arc VMAT plans was 1.08 and for plans with arcs <360° average HI=1.10. Average HI for BHN IMRT was 1.07, for three-arc VMAT 1.08, and for two-arc VMAT 1.11. For UHN, two 210° arcs achieved lower contralateral parotid max (-2.6 Gy, p<0.02) and mean (-1.2 Gy, p=0.06) dose. For BHN two-arc plans, contralateral parotid mean dose increased (3.3 Gy, p<0.04) and larynx max dose increased (2.9 Gy, p<0.02) with no change in larynx mean dose.

Conclusion: For UHN, 360degree arc VMAT consistently produced plans dosimetrically comparable to IMRT with the benefit of lower MU. VMAT with arcs <360degrees produced plans inferior to IMRT in dose homogeneity and without significantly improved OAR sparing. For BHN, three-arc plans were dosimetrically comparable to IMRT with lower MU, while two-arc plans were inferior to IMRT in HI and OAR dose.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Research supported in part by a Kaye Family Award

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