To identify treatment outcome, dose uniformity, treatment time, toxicity among 3D conformal therapy (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) based on literature review.
A literature search was conducted using PubMed/MEDLINE, BMC—part of Springer Nature, Google Scholar and iMEDPub Ltd with the following keywords for filtering: 3D-CRT, IMRT, VMAT, lung cancer, local control and radiobiology. A total of 14 publications were finally selected for the comparison of 3D-CRT, IMRT and VMAT to determine which technique is superior or inferior among these three.
Compared to 3D-CRT, IMRT delivers more precise treatment, has better conformal dose coverage to planning target volume (PTV) that covers gross tumour with microscopic extension, respiratory tumour motion and setup margin. 3D-CRT has large number of limitations: low overall survival (OS), large toxicity, secondary malignancies.
It is difficult to choose the best technique for treating NSCLC due to patient conditions and technique availability. A high-precision treatment may improve tumour control probability (TCP) and patient’s quality of life. VMAT, whether superior or not, needs more clinical trials to treat NSCLC and requires longer dose optimisation time with the greatest benefit of rapid treatment delivery, improved patient comfort, reduced intrafraction motion and increased patient throughput compared to IMRT and 3D-CRT.