A retrospective planning study comparing volumetric arc therapy (VMAT) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) treatment plans for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Five randomly selected early stage lung cancer patients were included in the study. For each patient, four plans were created: the SBRT plan and three VMAT plans using different optimisation methodologies. A total of 20 different plans were evaluated. The dose parameters of dose conformity results and the target dose constraints results were compared for these plans.
The mean planning target volume (PTV) for all the plans (SBRT and VMAT) was 18·3 cm3, with a range from 15·6 to 20·1 cm3. The maximum dose tolerance to 1 cc of all the plans was within 140% (84 Gy) of the prescribed dose, and 95% of the PTV of all the plans received 100% of the prescribed dose (60 Gy). In all the plans, 99% of the PTV received a dose >90% of the prescribed dose, and the mean dose in all the plans ranged from 67 to 72 Gy. The planning target dose conformity for the SBRT and the VMAT (0°, 15° collimator single arc plans and dual arc) plans showed the tightness of the prescription isodose conformity to the target.
SBRT and VMAT are radiotherapy approaches that increase doses to small tumour targets without increasing doses to the organs at risk. Although VMAT offers an alternative to SBRT for NSCLC and the potential advantage of VMAT is the reduced treatment times over SBRT, the statistical results show that there was no significant difference between the SBRT and VMAT optimised plans in terms of dose conformity and organ-at-risk sparing.