Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy Enabled Total Body Irradiation (VMAT-TBI): Six-year Clinical Experience and Treatment Outcomes

Elizabeth Ren Zhang-Velten, David Parsons, Pam Lee, Eric Chambers, Ramzi Abdulrahman, Neil B. Desai, Tu Dan, Zabi Wardak, Robert Timmerman, Madhuri Vusirikala, Prapti A Patel, Tiffany Simms-Waldrip, Victor Aquino, Andrew Koh, Jun Tan, Zohaib Iqbal, You Zhang, Robert Ray Reynolds Jr., Tsuicheng Chiu, Mindy JooBrian Hrycushko, Luo Ouyang, Richard Lamphier, Yulong Yan, Steve B. Jiang, Kiran A. Kumar, Xuejun Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Total body irradiation is an important part of the conditioning regimens frequently used to prepare patients for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Volumetric-modulated arc therapy enabled total body irradiation (VMAT-TBI), an alternative to conventional TBI (cTBI), is a novel radiotherapy treatment technique that has been implemented and investigated in our institution. The purpose of this study is to (1) report our six-year clinical experience in terms of treatment planning strategy and delivery time and (2) evaluate the clinical outcomes and toxicities in our cohort of patients treated with VMAT-TBI. This is a retrospective single center study. Forty-four patients at our institution received VMAT-TBI and chemotherapy conditioning followed by allogeneic SCT between 2014 and 2020. Thirty-two patients (73%) received standard-dose TBI (12-13.2 Gy in 6-8 fractions twice daily), whereas 12 (27%) received low-dose TBI (2-4 Gy in one fraction). Treatment planning, delivery, and treatment outcome data including overall survival (OS), relapse-free survival (RFS), and toxicities were analyzed. The developed VMAT-TBI planning strategy consistently generated plans satisfying our dose constraints, with planning target volume coverage >90%, mean lung dose ∼50% to 75% of prescription dose, and minimal hotspots in critical organs. Most of the treatment deliveries were <100 minutes (range 33-147, mean 72). The median follow-up was 26 months. At the last follow-up, 34 of 44 (77%) of patients were alive, with 1- and 2-year OS of 90% and 79% and RFS of 88% and 71%, respectively. The most common grade 3+ toxicities observed were mucositis (31 patients [71%]) and nephrotoxicity (6 patients [13%]), both of which were deemed multifactorial in cause. Four patients (9%) in standard-dose cohort developed grade 3+ pneumonitis, with 3 cases in the setting of documented respiratory infection and only 1 (2%) deemed likely related to radiation alone. VMAT-TBI provides a safe alternative to cTBI. The dose modulation capability of VMAT-TBI may lead to new treatment strategies, such as simultaneous boost and further critical organ sparing, for better malignant cell eradication, immune suppression, and lower toxicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113.e1-113.e8
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • TBI
  • Total body irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Cell Biology


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