PurposeTo assess the potential dosimetric benefits associated with the CyberKnife (CK) tumor tracking capability, wherein an extra margin for respiratory tumor motion is not required, when compared to respiratory-gated volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
MethodsTwenty-nine HCC patients previously treated with double-arc VMAT were enrolled. In each VMAT plan, the individual internal target volume (ITV) margin around the tumor was determined by measuring its motion over 30-70% of respiratory phases using four-dimensional computed tomography, followed by a 5-mm isotropic margin for the planning target volume (PTV). For each VMAT plan, two CK plans were generated using the original (CKoriginal, ITV included) and modified PTVs (CKmodified, ITV excluded) for comparison. In each case, the CKoriginal and CKmodified plans were compared to the original VMAT plan in terms of the dosimetric parameters including the conformity index (CI), PTV coverage (CO), organs at risk (OAR) doses, and normal liver tissue sparing.
ResultsThe original PTVs with median 24 cc (range, 9-65 cc) were significantly reduced to median 12 cc (range, 5-41 cc) in the CKmodified plans. Statistically significant differences in plan qualities were observed between the VMAT and the CK plans: mean CI, 1.05 in VMAT vs. 1.17 in both CK plans (p < 0.001); and mean CO, 93.0% in VMAT vs. 96.6% in CKoriginal and 96.9% in CKmodified (p < 0.001). The average volume of normal liver tissue receiving > 15 Gy was significantly decreased in the CKmodified plan, as compared to that in the VMAT and CKoriginal plans, by 1.75- and 1.61-fold, respectively.
ConclusionsThe tumor tracking capability of the CK system can significantly decrease the volume of normal liver tissue receiving > 15 Gy, while maintaining high precision in target localization, conformity, tumor coverage, and dose sparing of the OAR. Therefore, it can be a valuable SBRT option, particularly for HCC patients with poor liver function.
SUBMITTER: Yoon K