PURPOSE The purpose of this study is to compare the dosimetric differences among volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), fixed-field intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) for the preoperative locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). METHODS Ten LARC patients treated in our department using the simultaneous escalate strategy were retrospectively analyzed in this study. All patients had T3 with N+/- and were treated with IMRT. Two additional VMAT and 3DCRT plans were created for each patient. Both IMRT and VMAT had similar optimization objectives. The prescription was 50Gy to the PTV and 55Gy to the GTV. The target coverage and organs at risk were compared for all the techniques. The paired, two-tailed Wilcoxcon signed-rank test was applied for statistical analysis. RESULTS IMRT and VMAT plans achieved comparable tumor response except for the conformality index (1.07 vs 1.19 and 1.08 vs 1.03 of IMRT vs VMAT for PTV-G and PTV-C respectively). Compared to VMAT, IMRT showed superior or similar dose sparing in the small bowel, bladder, femoral head. Both IMRT and VMAT had better organs at risk sparing and homogeneity index of PTV-G. CONCLUSION All 3DCRT, IMRT and VMAT meet the prescript. The IMRT and VMAT provided comparable dosemitric parameters for target volume. IMRT shows better sparing for small bowel, bladder, femoral heads and normal tissue to 3DCRT and VMAT.