Background: This paper analyses normal tissue sparing capability of radiation treatment techniques in Hodgkin's lymphoma with large treatment volume.
Methods: 10 patients with supradiaphragmatic Hodgkin's lymphoma and planning target volume (PTV) larger than 900 cm3 were evaluated. Two plans were simulated for each patient using 6 MV X-rays: a conventional multi-leaf (MLC) parallel-opposed (AP-PA) plan, and the same plan with additional MLC shaped segments (forward planned intensity modulated radiation therapy, FPIMRT). In order to compare plans, dose-volume histograms (DVHs) of PTV, lungs, heart, spinal cord, breast, and thyroid were analyzed. The Inhomogeneity Coefficient (IC), the PTV receiving 95% of the prescription dose (V95), the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and dose-volume parameters for the OARs were determined.
Results: the PTV coverage was improved (mean V95AP-PA=95.9 and ICAP-PA=0.4 vs. V95FPIMRT=96.8 and ICFPIMRT=0.31, p<or=0.05) by the FPIMRT technique compared to the conventional one. At the same time, NTCPs of lung, spinal cord and thyroid, and the volume of lung and thyroid receiving>or=30 Gy resulted significantly reduced when using the FPIMRT technique.
Conclusions: The FPIMRT technique can represent a very useful and, at the same time, simple method for improving PTV conformity while saving critical organs when large fields are needed as in Hodgkin's lymphoma.