Vol 27, No 2 (2022)
Technical note
Published online: 2022-03-02

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Hybrid split-arc partial-field volumetric modulated arc therapy: an improved beam arrangement for linear accelerator-based hippocampal-avoidance whole brain radiation therapy

Adams Hei Long Yuen12, Po Man Wu1, Alex Kai Leung Li2, Philip Chung Yin Mak2
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2022;27(2):352-359.


Background: This technical note aims to verify the hippocampus and adjacent organs at risk (OARs) sparing ability of an improved beam arrangement, namely hybrid split-arc partial-field volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) (Hsapf-VMAT) during whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT).

Materials and methods: Computed tomography simulation images of 22 patients with brain metastases were retrieved in this retrospective planning study. The hippocampus was manually delineated according to the criterion of RTOG 0933. Plans delivering 30 Gy in 10 fractions were generated for each patient using split-arc partial-field VMAT (sapf-VMAT) and Hsapf-VMAT. The sapf-VMAT plans consisted of 4 arc fields of 179.9° each with reduced field size. The Hsapf-VMAT consisted of 4 arc fields similar to sapf-VMAT in addition to 2 lateral opposing static fields. Statistical comparisons between treatment plans of both techniques were performed using the paired t-test at 5% level significance.

Results: The results demonstrated that Hsapf-VMAT can achieve superior dose sparing in hippocampus which is comparable to sapf-VMAT (p > 0.05). In both eyes, Hsapf-VMAT had significantly lower Dmean and Dmax compared to sapf-VMAT (p < 0.005). Decrease in Dmax of both lenses using Hsapf-VMAT (p < 0.005) were statistically significant when compared to sapf-VMAT. Hsapf-VMAT demonstrated significant reduction of Dmean and Dmedian to the optic nerves (p < 0.05). Whole brain planning target volume (PTV) coverage was not compromised in both techniques.

Conclusion: The present study adopts a hybrid technique, namely Hsapf-VMAT, for hippocampal sparing WBRT. Hsapf-VMAT can achieve promising dose reduction to the hippocampus, both eyes and lenses. Therefore, Hsapf-VMAT can be considered an improved version of sapf-VMAT.

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