Author(s): Cella L, Lomax A, Miralbell R
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Abstract PURPOSE: The present study was undertaken to assess the potential benefit of intensity modulated (IM) proton beams in optimizing the dose distribution to safely escalate the tumor dose in prostate cancer radiotherapy. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Four treatment plans were compared in a prostate cancer patient aiming to deliver 81 Gy to the target: 1) conformal 18 MV X-rays, 6-fields; 2) 214 MeV protons, 2-fields; 3) IM 15 MV X-rays, 5-fields; and 4) 177-200 Mev IM protons, 5-fields as in Plan 3. In addition, IM methods were used to further escalate the tumor dose to 99 Gy. Dose-volume histograms (DVH) were used to physically compare the treatment plans. DVH data were also used to obtain normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCP) for the rectum, bladder, femoral heads, and tumor control probabilities. RESULTS: Although the planning target volume dose distribution was satisfactory with the four treatment plans, the homogeneity was slightly reduced in both X-ray plans (IM and standard) and the low-to-medium doses delivered to all organs at risk, and other normal tissues were significantly reduced by both proton plans. For a prescribed dose of 81 Gy, only the IM X-ray and IM proton plans both succeeded in predicting an acceptably low NTCP for the rectum (<5\%, Grade 3). The integral nontarget dose was significantly reduced with IM proton beams (i.e., 3.1, 1.3, and 1.7 times less than Plans 1, 2, and 3, respectively). When escalating the dose to 99 Gy, no additional improvement between IM protons and IM X-ray beams was observed. CONCLUSION: Both IM X-ray and proton beams were able to optimize the dose distribution and comply with the goal of delivering the highest dose to the target while reducing the risk of severe morbidity to acceptable levels. The main advantage compared to IM X-rays was that IM protons succeeded in significantly reducing the low-to-medium dose to the nontarget tissues and achieved a small improvement in planning target volume (PTV) dose heterogeneity.
This article was published in Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
and referenced in OMICS Journal of Radiology