Standardized evaluation of simultaneous integrated boost plans on volumetric modulated arc therapy

Wensha Yang, Ryan Jones, Paul Read, Stanley H Benedict, Ke Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


he purpose of this paper is to quantify the capability of the RapidArc (RA) planning system to deliver highly heterogeneous doses for simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) in both a phantom and patients. A cylindrical planning target volume (PTV) with a diameter of 6 cm was created in a cylindrical phantom. A smaller boost tumor volume (BTV) in the PTV with varying diameters (0.625-2.5 cm), positions and shapes was also created. Five previously treated patients with brain tumors were included in the study. Original gross tumor volumes (average 41.8 cm3) and PTVs (average 316 cm3) were adopted as the BTV and the PTV in the new plans. 30 Gy was prescribed to the PTV. Doses varying from 35 to 90 Gy were prescribed to the BTV. Both SIB and sequential boost (SEQ) plans were created on RA to meet the prescription. A set of reference plans was also created on the helical tomotherapy (HT) platform. Normalized dose contrast (NDC) and the integral dose were used to evaluate the quality of plans. NDC was defined as the dose contrast between BTV and PTV-BTV, normalizing to the ideal scenario where the contrast is the ratio between prescribed doses to the BTV and PTV. NDC above 90% was observed with BTV dose less than 60 Gy. NDC was minimally affected by the size of BTV but adversely affected by the complexity of the shape of the BTV. In the phantom plans, a peak of NDC was observed with 45 Gy (150% of PTV dose) to the BTV; for BTVs at the center of the PTV, the increase in the integral dose was less than 2% and remained constant for all dose levels in the phantom plans but a linear increase in the integral dose was observed with the HT plans. In the patient plans, an 11% average increase in the integral dose was observed with SIB plans and 60 Gy to the BTV, lower than the 30% average increase in the SEQ plans by RA and 25% by HT. The study showed not only that SIB by RA can achieve superior plans compared with SEQ plans on the same platform and SIB plans on HT, but also the feasibility to optimize prescription dose in a SIB plan. A maximal therapeutic ratio can be achieved with BTV dose 50-100% higher than the PTV dose, depending on the shape and position of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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