Background: The purpose of this study was to compare carbon ion radiotherapy (C-ion RT) and stereotactic radiotherapy (SBRT) with photon beams for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), specifically with regard to the dose volume parameters for target coverage and normal tissue sparing.
Methods: Data of 10 patients who were treated using C-ion RT with a total dose of 60 Gy(RBE) in four fractions were used. The virtual plan of SBRT was simulated on the treatment planning computed tomography images of C-ion RT. Dose volume parameters such as minimum dose covering 90% of the planning target volume (PTV D90), homogeneity index (HI), conformity index (CI), mean liver dose (MLD), volume of the liver receiving 5 to 60 Gy (V5-60), and max point dose (Dmax) of gastrointestinal (GI) tract were calculated from both treatment plans.
Results: The PTV D90 was 59.6 ± 0.2 Gy(RBE) in C-ion RT, as compared to 56.6 ± 0.3 Gy in SBRT (p < 0.05). HI and CI were 1.19 ± 0.03 and 0.79 ± 0.06, respectively in C-ion RT, as compared to 1.21 ± 0.01 and 0.37 ± 0.02, respectively in SBRT. Only CI showed a significant difference between two modalities. Mean liver dose was 8.1 ± 1.4 Gy(RBE) in C-ion RT, as compared to 16.1 ± 2.5 Gy in SBRT (p < 0.05). V5 to V50 of liver were higher in SBRT than C-ion RT and significant differences were observed for V5, V10 and V20. Dmax of the GI tract was higher in SBRT than C-ion RT, but did not show a significantly difference.
Conclusions: C-ion RT provides an advantage in both target conformity and normal liver sparing compared with SBRT.