Inverse planning for four-dimensional (4D) volumetric modulated arc therapya)


  • a)

    Conflicts of interest: None to disclose.

  • 0094-2405/2010/37(11)/5627/7/$30.00



To develop a 4D volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) inverse planning framework.


4D VMAT inverse planning aims to derive an aperture and weight modulated arc therapy treatment plan that optimizes the accumulated dose distribution from all gantry angles and breathing phases. Under an assumption that the gantry rotation and patient breathing are synchronized (i.e., there is a functional relationship between the phase of the patient breathing cycle and the beam angle), the authors compute the contribution from different respiration phases through the registration of the phased CT images. The accumulative dose distribution is optimized by iteratively adjusting the aperture shape and weight of each beam through the minimization of the planning objective function. For comparison, traditional 3D VMAT plans are also performed for the two cases and the performance of the proposed technique is demonstrated.


A framework for 4D VMAT inverse planning has been proposed. With the consideration of the extra dimension of time in VMAT, a tighter target margin can be achieved with a full duty cycle, which is otherwise not achievable simultaneously by either 3D VMAT optimization or gated VMAT.


The 4D VMAT planning formulism proposed here provides useful insight on how the “time” dimension can be exploited in rotational arc therapy to maximally compensate for the intrafraction organ motion.