To compare dosimetric results of two beam arrangement strategies and their robustness to setup uncertainties in fractionated thoracic spine Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) MATERIALS/METHODS: Fifteen patients who received fractionated thoracic spine SBRT were retrospectively studied. All patients received simulation CT scans in body vacuum bag immobilization and multiparametric MRI exams. Clinical target volumes (CTVs) included single vertebral bodies with possible paraspinal space inclusion. Planning target volumes (PTVs) were expanded from CTVs with a 2mm margin but were cropped from spinal cord defined by MRI with a 2mm margin. Two different beam arrangement strategies of volumetric modulated arc therapy planning were studied: 1) 5 full arcs (FA) (360° each arc) with different collimator angles; and 2) 6 partial arcs (PA) (90° each arc) divided into two groups (3 arcs in each group) covering patient left-posterior-oblique (LPO) and right-posterior-oblique (RPO) regions, respectively, with orthogonal collimator angles. Both plans (PlanFA
) were calculated as 24 Gy in 3 fractions using 6xFFF photon energy and a high-definition MLC model. During the inverse optimization of each plan for same patient, a same set of dose-volume constraints and optimization settings was used to exhaust parameter space search. Key dosimetric results of PTV as well as dose-volume parameters of relevant organs-at-risk (OARs) including spinal cord, esophagus, heart, lung and liver were evaluated. Dosimetric impact of on-board patient setup uncertainties to both plans were also simulated. All comparison results were analyzed by Wilcoxon signed-rank tests when the statistical power was sufficient.
achieved satisfactory spatial dose distribution. After PTV coverage normalization, PlanPA
had better PTV dose uniformity (P = 0.026) and PlanFA
had better dose fall-off gradient outside PTV. PlanPA
had slightly better (18.1 ± 0.8 Gy vs 18.3 ± 0.9 Gy) cord max dose (D0.035cc
) results (P = 0.213) and better cord low dose sparing V12 Gy (P = 0.013) results. PlanPA
also achieved lower max dose (D0.035cc
) of esophagus (P = 0.003) and heart, and improved low dose sparing (V5 Gy) of lung (P = 0.002) and liver. In plan parameter comparisons, PlanFA
demonstrated stronger beam modulation effect (P < 0.001) but PlanPA
had smaller MLC apertures (P < 0.001). In the simulated on-board scenarios with setup uncertainties, while both PlanFA
had similar cord max dose increases with simulated pitch and/or roll in setup (< 0.1 Gy differences), PlanPA
had minimal cord max dose increase (P < 0.001) with simulated anterior body weight loss.
For thoracic spine SBRT plans, the beam arrangement in PlanPA
might be favored dosimetrically with better OAR sparing results and could be less sensitive to certain patient uncertainties, while the PlanFA
could be acceptable with satisfactory dosimetry results.
C. Wang: None. Y. Xie: None. Z. Hu: None. F. Yin: Research Grant; Varian Medical Systems. Teaching and mentoring graduate students. Administration of graduate program activities; Duke Kunshan University. Board of Directors Member at Large Members; AAPM. organize activities of the SANTRO; SANTRO.Z. Reitman: None. Y. Cui: None.