Purpose: To investigate the effect of patient positioning in Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) for Total Body Irradiation (TBI) given the use of multiple isocenters, by simulating offsets in patient positioning and evaluating changes to planned dose distributions.
Methods: VMAT treatment plans for seven TBI patients treated as part of a prospective stage II clinical trial were evaluated. Plan uncertainties were calculated by introducing 5mm and 10mm translational shifts to the plans’ isocenters in the lateral (x), vertical (y), and longitudinal (z) directions. Dose distributions were then re-calculated in the treatment planning system (Eclipse), in order to evaluate dosimetric robustness to one global imaging shift at treatment. Differences in target volume (PTV) coverage and doses to organs at risk were evaluated based on four parameters: lung mean dose, PTV-V100%, PTV-D98%, and kidney mean doses.
Results: Lung mean dose increased an average of 8.2cGy, 4.4cGy, and 3.3cGy when shifted 5mm in the x,y,z directions (respectively) across seven patients; 33.2CGy, 18.5cGy, 18.3cGy for 10mm shifts in x,y,z. Target coverage V100% decreased an average of 0.3%, 0.03%, 0.1% for 5mm shifts, and 1.1%, 0.8%, 0.4% for 10mm shifts in x,y,z. D98% decreased 0.9%, 0.3%, 0.3% when shifted 5mm; 3.5%, 2.1%, 1.0% when shifted 10mm in x,y,z. Mean dose to the left kidney increased 6.6cGy, 9.7cGy, 2.8cGy for 5mm, and 28.1cGy, 32.7cGy, 18.0cGy for 10mm shifts in x,y,z. Right kidney mean dose increased 11.9cGy, 8.9cGy, 3.1cGy for 5mm, and 36.5, 30.5, 19.8cGy for 10mm.
Conclusion: Though small in relation to total dose, the largest increase in mean lung dose and decrease in coverage was seen with lateral shifts as compared to vertical or longitudinal shifts. These results support the use of an approach with preferential alignment to the chest region (lung-sparing), as long as residual imaging alignment outside the chest is kept below 10mm.
Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Jose Teruel has received honorarium from Varian Medical Systems.