Purpose: The purpose of this work was to investigate the dosimetric impact of mixed energy (6-MV, 15-MV) partial arcs (MEPAs) technique on prostate cancer VMAT plans. Methods: This work involved prostate only patients, planned with 79.2 Gy in 44 fractions to the planning target volume (PTV). Femoral heads, bladder, and rectum were considered organs at risk. This study was performed in two parts. For each of the 25 patients in Part 1, two single-energy single-arc plans, a 6 MV-SA plan and a 15 MV-SA plan, and a third MEPA plan involving composite of 6-MV anterior–posterior partial arcs and a 15-MV lateral partial arc weighted 1:2 were created. The dosimetric difference between MEPA(6/15 MV 1:2 weighted) and 6 MV-SA plans, and MEPA(6/15 MV 1:2 weighted) and 15 MV-SA plans were measured. In the Part 2 of this study, a second MEPAs plan (6 MV anterior–posterior arcs and 15 MV lateral arcs weighted 1:1), (MEPA 6/15 MV 1:1 weighted), was generated for 15 patients and compared only with two single-energy partial arcs plans, a 6 and a 15 MV-PA, to investigate the influence of the energy only. Dosimetric parameters of each structure, total monitor-units (MUs), homogeneity index (HI), and conformity number (CN) were analyzed. Results: In Part 1, no statistically significant differences were observed for mean dose to PTV and CN for MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:2 weighted) vs 6 and 15 MV-SA. MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:2 weighted) increased HI compared to 6 and 15 MV-SA (P < 0.0005; P < 0.0005). MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:2 weighted) produced significantly lower mean doses to rectum, bladder, and MUs/fraction, but higher mean doses to femoral heads, compared to 6 MV-SA (P < 0.0005) and 15 MV-SA (P < 0.0005). The results of Part 2 of this study showed that, in comparison to 6 and 15 MV-PA, MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:1 weighted) plans significantly improved CNs (P < 0.0005; P < 0.0005) and produced significantly lower mean doses to the rectum and bladder (P < 0.0005; P < 0.0005). While mean doses to the PTV and femoral heads of MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:1 weighted) plans were statistically comparable to 6 MV-PA (P > 0.05), MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:1 weighted) increased mean doses to left (P = 0.04) and right (P = 0.04) femoral heads compared to 15 MV-PA. MEPAs (6/15 MV 1:1 weighted) resulted in significantly lower total MUs compared to 6 MV-PA (P < 0.0005) and 15 MV-PA (P = 0.04). Conclusion: The study for prostate radiotherapy demonstrated that a choice of MEPAs for VMAT has the potential to minimize doses to OARs and improve dose conformity to PTV, at the expense of a moderate increase in mean dose to the femoral heads.
- mixed energy VMAT
- treatment planning