Vol 26, No 1 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-01-22

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Dose accuracy improvement on head and neck VMAT treatments by using the Acuros algorithm and accurate FFF beam calibration

Guadalupe Martin-Martin1, Stefan Walter2, Eduardo Guibelalde3
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2021;26(1):73-85.


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess dose accuracy improvement and dosimetric impact of switching from the anisotropic analytical algorithm (AAA) to the Acuros XB algorithm (AXB) when performing an accurate beam calibration in head and neck (H&N) FFF-VMAT treatments.

Materials and methods: Twenty H&N cancer patients treated with FFF-VMAT techniques were included. Calculations were performed with the AAA and AXB algorithm (dose-to-water — AXBw– and dose-to-medium — AXBm–). An accurate beam calibration was used for AXB calculations. Dose prescription to the tumour (PTV70) and at-risk-nodal region (PTV58.1) were 70 Gy and 58.1 Gy, respectively. A PTV70_bone including bony structures in PTV70 was contoured. Dose-volume parameters were compared between the algorithms. Statistical tests were used to analyze the differences in mean values and the correlation between compliance with the D95 > 95% requirement and occurrence of local recurrence.

Results: AAA systematically overestimated the dose compared to AXB algorithm with mean dose differences within 1.3 Gy/2%, except for the PTV70_bone (2.2 Gy/3.2%). Dose differences were significantly higher for AXBm calculations when including accurate beam calibration (maximum dose differences up to 2.8 Gy/4.1% and 4.2 Gy/6.3% for PTV70 and PTV70_bone, respectively). 80% of AAA-calculated plans did not meet the D95 > 95% requirement after recalculation with AXBm and accurate beam calibration. The reduction in D95 coverage in the tumour was not clinically relevant.

Conclusions: Using the AXBm algorithm and carefully reviewing the beam calibration procedure in H&N FFF-VMAT treatments ensures (1) dose accuracy increase by approximately 3%; (2) a consequent dose increase in targets; and (3) a dose reporting mode that is consistent with the trend of current algorithms.

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