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Dosimetric advantages of volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) over three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) are not established in a head-on comparison of a uniform group of locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix (LACC). Therefore, we conducted a dosimetric comparison of these two techniques in LACC patients.
Materials and methods:
Computed tomography (CT) data of histologically proven de novo LACC, including Stage IIB–IIIB and earlier stages deemed inoperable, were included in this prospective observational dosimetric study. Planning was initially done by 3D-CRT technique (dose of 45–50·4 Gy @ 1·8–2 Gy/# was used in the actual treatment), followed by VMAT planning and appropriate dosimetric comparisons were done in 39 cases.
For planning target volume coverage, D95, D98 and D100 (p < 0·0001 for all parameters) and V95 and V100 (p = 0·002 and <0·0001, respectively) were significantly improved with VMAT. The conformity index (CI) was significantly better with VMAT (p = 0·03), while 3D-CRT had a significantly better homogeneity index (HI)(p = 0·003). Dose to the urinary bladder was significantly reduced with VMAT compared to 3D-CRT for V20–V50, except V10. The doses to the rectum and abdominal cavity were significantly reduced with VMAT compared to 3D-CRT plans for all parameters (V10–V50). The number of organs at risks (OARs) for which constraints were met was higher with VMAT plans than with 3D-CRT plans, with at least four out of the five OARs protected in 46·1 versus 5·1% and all constraints achieved in 15·4% versus none.
We conclude that in dosimetric terms, VMAT is superior to 3D-CRT for LACC.