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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Radiation Oncology 1/2017

Dosimetric comparison of different treatment modalities for stereotactic radiotherapy

Radiation Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Shih-Ming Hsu, Yuan-Chun Lai, Chien-Chung Jeng, Chia-Ying Tseng



The modalities for performing stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) on the brain include the cone-based linear accelerator (linac), the flattening filter-free (FFF) volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) linac, and tomotherapy. In this study, the cone-based linac, FFF-VMAT linac, and tomotherapy modalities were evaluated by measuring the differences in doses delivered during brain SRT and experimentally assessing the accuracy of the output radiation doses through clinical measurements.


We employed a homemade acrylic dosimetry phantom representing the head, within which a thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) and radiochromic EBT3 film were installed. Using the conformity/gradient index (CGI) and Paddick methods, the quality of the doses delivered by the various SRT modalities was evaluated. The quality indicators included the uniformity, conformity, and gradient indices. TLDs and EBT3 films were used to experimentally assess the accuracy of the SRT dose output.


The dose homogeneity indices of all the treatment modalities were lower than 1.25. The cone-based linac had the best conformity for all tumors, regardless of the tumor location and size, followed by the FFF-VMAT linac; tomography was the worst-performing treatment modality in this regard. The cone-based linac had the best gradient, regardless of the tumor location and size, whereas the FFF-VMAT linac had a better gradient than tomotherapy for a large tumor diameter (28 mm). The TLD and EBT3 measurements of the dose at the center of tumors indicated that the average difference between the measurements and the calculated dose was generally less than 4%. When the 3% 3-mm gamma passing rate metric was used, the average passing rates of all three treatment modalities exceeded 98%.


Regarding the dose, the cone-based linac had the best conformity and steepest dose gradient for tumors of different sizes and distances from the brainstem. The results of this study suggest that SRT should be performed using the cone-based linac on tumors that require treatment plans with a steep dose gradient, even as the tumor is slightly irregular, we should also consider using a high dose gradient of the cone base to treat and protect the normal tissue. If normal tissues require special protection exist at positions that are superior or inferior to the tumor, we can consider using tomotherapy or Cone base with couch at 0° for treatment.
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