Dosimetric comparison of glioblastoma radiotherapy treatment plans on a low-field MRI-guided linear accelerator compared to conventional C-arm linear accelerator

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Medical dosimetry


INTRODUCTION: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation therapy has proven to provide many benefits such as real-time tracking, dose escalation, and the ability to perform online adaptive therapy. The objective of this study is to compare curative treatment plans for glioblastoma tumors on a low-field MR-guided linac vs a C-arm linac and evaluate if they are comparable in terms of coverage, organ at risk sparing, delivery time, and deliverability.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study that consisted of 15 previously treated patients who received radiation therapy for glioblastoma on a C-arm linac. The CT simulation data used for the original clinical plans was imported into the MR-linac treatment planning system (TPS) and utilized for MR-linac plan generation. The plans were evaluated utilizing the dose volumetric histogram (DVH) and isodose lines, then compared in terms of plan quality consisting of PTV coverage, dose distributions, and OAR constraints. Statistical analysis was performed to compare differences between the two planning techniques. QA was performed on a subset of the plans to verify deliverability.

RESULTS: Plans generated on the MR-linac were more heterogenous compared to C-arm linac plans. A statistically significant difference was found in the homogeneity index (HI) and the PTV V105% volume (cc) values. The volume of the normal brain receiving 30 Gy also showed a statistically significant (p = 0.0479) difference, where on average an additional 41.5 cc's of the normal brain tissue received 30 Gy in the MR-linac plans. The maximum dose to the normal brain structure also increased in the MR-linac plans on average by 2.6 Gy (p = 0.0002). Similarly, the average maximum dose to the scalp 4 mm structure was 6.5 Gy higher in the MR-linac plans compared to C-arm linac plans (p = 0.0103). The total MU's were higher in the MR-linac plans compared to the C-arm linac plans (p = 0.0015).

CONCLUSIONS: Both MR-linac and C-arm linac plans met constraints for PTV coverage and OAR sparing, were deliverable, and resulted to be clinically acceptable. However, our study showed that MR-linac plans were not as conformal or as homogenous as C-arm linac plans utilizing noncoplanar beams.

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ePub ahead of print