Background: To evaluate dosimetric differences of salvage irradiations using two commercially available volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) techniques: RapidArc (RA) and HyperArc (HA), for recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) after initial radiation therapy.
Methods: Ten patients with recurrent NPC status previously treated with radiation therapy were considered suitable candidates for salvage SBRT using VMAT approach. Two separate treatment plans were created with HA and RA techniques for each case, with dosimetric outcomes compared with respect to tumor target coverage and organs-at-risk (OARs) sparing. Furthermore, the cumulative radiobiological effects to the relevant OARs from the original radiotherapy to the respective salvage SBRT plans were analyzed in terms of biologically effective dose (BED).
Results: Treatment with HA exhibited similar target dose coverage as with RA, while delivering a higher mean dose to the targets. Using RA technique, the mean maximal doses to optic apparatus and the mean brain dose were reduced by 1 to 1.5 Gy, comparing to HA technique. The conformity index, gradient radius, and intermediate dose spillage in HA plans were significantly better than those in RA. With HA technique, the volume of brain receiving 12 Gy or more was reduced by 44%, comparing to RA technique. The cumulative BEDs to spinal cord and optic apparatus with RA technique were 1 to 2 Gy3 less than those with HA. HA technique significantly reduced the volume within body that received more than 100 Gy.
Conclusions: With better dose distribution than RA while maintaining sufficient target dose coverage, HA represents an attractive salvage SBRT technique for recurrent NPC.
Keywords: Biologically effective dose (BED); Dosimetric comparison; HyperArc; RapidArc; Recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).