Investigation of pulsed low dose rate radiotherapy using dynamic arc delivery techniques

C. M. Ma, M. H. Lin, X. F. Dai, Sion Koren, T. Klayton, L. Wang, J. S. Li, L. Chen, R. A. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


There has been no consensus standard of care to treat recurrent cancer patients who have previously been irradiated. Pulsed low dose rate (PLDR) external beam radiotherapy has the potential to reduce normal tissue toxicities while still providing significant tumor control for recurrent cancers. This work investigates the dosimetry feasibility of PLDR treatment using dynamic arc delivery techniques. Five treatment sites were investigated in this study including breast, pancreas, prostate, head and neck, and lung. Dynamic arc plans were generated using the Varian Eclipse system and the RapidArc delivery technique with 6 and 10 MV photon beams. Each RapidArc plan consisted of two full arcs and the plan was delivered five times to achieve a dailydose of 200 cGy. The dosimetry requirement was to deliver approximately 20 cGy/arc with a 3min interval to achieve an effective dose rate of 6.7cGymin 1. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to calculate the actual dose delivered to the planning target volume (PTV) per arc taking into account beam attenuation/scattering and intensity modulation. The maximum, minimum and mean doses to the PTV were analyzed together with the dose volume histograms and isodose distributions. The dose delivery for the five plans was validated using solid water phantoms inserted with an ionization chamber and film, and a cylindrical detector array. Two intensity-modulated arcs were used to efficiently deliver the PLDR plans that provided conformal dose distributions for treating complex recurrent cancers. For the five treatment sites, the mean PTV dose ranged from 18.9 to 22.6 cGy/arc. For breast, the minimum and maximum PTV dose was 8.3 and 35.2 cGy/arc, respectively. The PTV dose varied between 12.9 and 27.5 cGy/arc for pancreas, 12.6 and 28.3 cGy/arc for prostate, 12.1 and 30.4 cGy/arc for H&N, and 16.2 and 27.6 cGy/arc for lung. Advanced radiation therapy can provide superior target coverage and normal tissue sparing for PLDR reirradiation of recurrent cancers, which can be delivered using dynamic arc delivery techniques with ten full arcs and an effective dose rate of 6.7 ± 4.0 cGy min 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4613-4626
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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