A VMAT planning solution for prostate patients using a commercial treatment planning system
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Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a rotational delivery technique which offers the potential of improved dose distributions and shorter treatment times when compared to fixed-beam intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This note describes the use of an existing treatment planning system (Philips Pinnacle(3) v.8.0), supplemented by in-house software, to produce a single-arc VMAT prostate plan. While a number of planning systems for the Elekta VMAT platform are commercially available, the use of an in-house solution has allowed more detailed investigations of VMAT planning, as well as greater control over the optimization process. The solution presented here begins with a static step-and-shoot IMRT approach to provide initial segment shapes, which are then modified and sequenced into 60 equally spaced control points in a 360 degrees arc. Dose-volume histogram comparisons demonstrate that this VMAT planning method offers multiple dose level target coverage comparable to that from a standard IMRT approach. The VMAT plans also show superior sparing of critical structures such as the rectum and bladder. Delivery times are reduced with the VMAT method, and the results of dosimetric verification, resilience and repeatability tests indicate that the solution is robust.
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