The investigation of the clinical efficacy and effectiveness of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) using Multileaf Collimators (MLC) and Helical Tomotherapy (HT) has been an issue of increasing interest over the past few years. In order to assess the suitability of a treatment plan, dosimetric criteria such as dose-volume histograms (DVH), maximum, minimum, mean, and standard deviation of the dose distribution are typically used. Nevertheless, the radiobiological parameters of the different tumors and normal tissues are often not taken into account. The use of the biologically effective uniform dose (D=) together with the complication-free tumor control probability (P+) were applied to evaluate the two radiation modalities. Two different clinical cases of brain and cranio-spinal axis cancers have been investigated by developing a linac MLC-based step-and-shoot IMRT plan and a Helical Tomotherapy plan. The treatment plans of the MLC-based IMRT were developed on the Philips treatment planning station using the Pinnacle 7.6 software release while the dedicated Tomotherapy treatment planning station was used for the HT plan. With the use of the P+ index and the D = concept as the common prescription point, the different treatment plans were compared based on radiobiological measures. The tissue response probabilities were plotted against D= for a range of prescription doses. The applied plan evaluation method shows that in the brain cancer, the HT treatment gives slightly better results than the MLC-based IMRT in terms of optimum expected clinical outcome (P+ of 66.1% and 63.5% for a D = to the PTV of 63.0 Gy and 62.0 Gy, respectively). In the cranio-spinal axis cancer, the HT plan is significantly better compared to the MLC-based IMRT plan over the clinically useful dose prescription range (P + of 84.1% and 28.3% for a D= to the PTV of 50.6 Gy and 44.0 Gy, respectively). If a higher than 5% risk for complications could be allowed, the complication-free tumor control could be increased by almost 30% compared to the initial dose prescription. In comparison to MLC based-IMRT, HT can better encompass the often large PTV while minimizing the volume of the OARs receiving high dose. A radiobiological treatment plan evaluation can provide a closer association of the delivered treatment with the clinical outcome by taking into account the dose-response relations of the irradiated tumors and normal tissues. The use of P - D= diagrams can complement the traditional tools of evaluation such as DVHs, in order to compare and effectively evaluate different treatment plans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research