Assessment of HDR brachytherapy-replicating prostate radiotherapy planning for tomotherapy, cyberknife and VMAT

Romena de Chavez, Garry Grogan, Ben Hug, Kate Howe, Alice Grigg, David Waterhouse, Jonathan Lane, Alan Glyde, Elizabeth Brown, Sean Bydder, David Pryor, Cathy Hargrave, Paul H. Charles, James Hellyer, Martin A. Ebert

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A dosimetric study was undertaken to assess the ability of Cyberknife (CK), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), and TomoTherapy (Tomo) to generate treatment plans that mimic the dosimetry of high dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR BT) for prostate cancer. The project aimed to assess the potential of using stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for boost treatment of high-risk prostate cancer patients where HDR BT in combination with conformal external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is the standard of care. The datasets of 6 prostate patients previously treated with HDR BT were collated. VMAT, CK, and TomoTherapy treatment plans were generated for each dataset using the target and organ-at-risk structures as defined by the Radiation Oncologist during the HDR BT treatment process. The HDR BT plan isodoses were also converted into planning structures to assist the other modalities to achieve a HDR BT-like dose distribution. CK plans were created using both the iris collimator (IC) and a multileaf collimator (MLC). Comparison of the techniques was made based on dose-volume indices. Each plan was created at centres experienced using the respective treatment planning systems (TPS). Planning target volume (PTV V100%), i.e., the volume of the planning target volume (PTV) receiving 100% of the relative dose, in VMAT and TomoTherapy SBRT plans was higher than HDR BT plans. PTV V150% and V200%, i.e., volume of the PTV receiving 150% and 200% of the relative dose, were approached on all the CK MLC and TomoTherapy SBRT plans. However, it is not presently achievable for “virtual brachytherapy” SBRT to replicate the same high intraprostatic doses as HDR BT while meeting the constraints on the organs-at-risk (OARs). Half of the CK IC plans achieved PTV V150% but this was at the expense of high rectal dose. TomoTherapy and CK MLC plans achieved PTV V150% and V200% but the bladder dose was higher compared to CK IC plans. VMAT exhibited excellent PTV coverage based on V100 and OAR sparing, but without any ability to achieve the high intra-prostatic doses of HDR (V150% and V200%). SBRT techniques can be used to deliver hypofractionated radiotherapy to the PTV V100%. Based on the comparison of “physical” dose distributions, SBRT cannot presently achieve the same high intraprostatic doses as HDR BT while respecting the OAR constraints. SBRT still remains an attractive treatment option for delivering hypofractionated treatments for prostate cancer compared to HDR BT, in particular as it is less invasive and less resource intensive. Long-term outcomes of clinical trials comparing HDR BT and SBRT “prostate boosts” may show whether the high intraprostatic doses are clinically significant and correlate with outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number1
Early online date19 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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