Analysis of acute and late complications after total body irradiation of 160 consecutive patients
- H. Lingitz
- Strahlenther Onkol. 2007;183:194–5
BACKGROUND To implement total body irradiation (TBI) using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). We applied the Varian RapidArc™ software to calculate and optimize the dose distribution. Emphasis was placed on applying a homogenous dose to the PTV and on reducing the dose to the lungs. METHODS From July 2013 to July 2014 seven patients with leukaemia were planned and treated with a VMAT-based TBI-technique with photon energy of 6 MV. The overall planning target volume (PTV), comprising the whole body, had to be split into 8 segments with a subsequent multi-isocentric planning. In a first step a dose optimization of each single segment was performed. In a second step all these elements were calculated in one overall dose-plan, considering particular constraints and weighting factors, to achieve the final total body dose distribution. The quality assurance comprised the verification of the irradiation plans via ArcCheck™ (Sun Nuclear), followed by in vivo dosimetry via dosimeters (MOSFETs) on the patient. RESULTS The time requirements for treatment planning were high: contouring took 5-6 h, optimization and dose calculation 25-30 h and quality assurance 6-8 h. The couch-time per fraction was 2 h on day one, decreasing to around 1.5 h for the following fractions, including patient information, time for arc positioning, patient positioning verification, mounting of the MOSFETs and irradiation. The mean lung dose was decreased to at least 80 % of the planned total body dose and in the central parts to 50 %. In two cases we additionally pursued a dose reduction of 30 to 50 % in a pre-irradiated brain and in renal insufficiency. All high dose areas were outside the lungs and other OARs. The planned dose was in line with the measured dose via MOSFETs: in the axilla the mean difference between calculated and measured dose was 3.6 % (range 1.1-6.8 %), and for the wrist/hip-inguinal region it was 4.3 % (range 1.1-8.1 %). CONCLUSION TBI with VMAT provides the benefit of satisfactory dose distribution within the PTV, while selectively reducing the dose to the lungs and, if necessary, in other organs. Planning time, however, is extensive.