Volumetric modulated arc therapy for delivery of hypofractionated stereotactic lung radiotherapy: A dosimetric and treatment efficiency analysis

Radiother Oncol. 2010 May;95(2):153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2009.12.039. Epub 2010 Jan 28.


Purpose/objective(s): Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) allows for intensity-modulated radiation delivery during gantry rotation with dynamic MLC motion, variable dose rates and gantry speed modulation. We compared VMAT plans with 3D-CRT for hypofractionated lung radiotherapy.

Materials/methods: Twenty-one 3D-CRT plans for Stage IA lung cancer previously treated stereotactically were selected. VMAT plans were generated by optimizing machine aperture shape and radiation intensity at 10 degrees intervals. A partial arc range of 180 degrees was manually selected to coincide with tumor location. The arc was resampled down to 5 degrees intervals to ensure dose calculation accuracy. Identical planning objectives were used for VMAT/3D-CRT. Parameters assessed included dose to PTV and organs-at-risk (OAR), monitor units, and multiple conformity and homogeneity indices. Plans were delivered to a phantom for time comparison.

Results: Lung V(20/12.5/10/5) were less with VMAT (relative reduction 4.5%, p = .02; 3.2%, p = .01; 2.6%, p = .01; 4.2%, p = .03, respectively). Mean/maximum-doses to PTV, dose to additional OARs, 95% isodose line conformity, and target volume homogeneity were equivalent. VMAT improved conformity at both the 80% (1.87 vs. 1.93, p = .08) and 50% isodose lines (5.19 vs. 5.65, p = .01). Treatment times were reduced significantly with VMAT (mean 6.1 vs. 11.9 min, p < .01).

Conclusions: Single arc VMAT planning achieves highly conformal dose distributions while controlling dose to critical structures, including significant reduction in lung dose volume parameters. Employing a VMAT technique decreases treatment times by 37-63%, reducing the chance of error introduced by intrafraction variation. The quality and efficiency of VMAT is ideally suited for stereotactic lung radiotherapy delivery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy*
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome