SU-E-T-197: Helical Cranial-Spinal Treatments with a Linear Accelerator




Craniospinal irradiation (CSI) of systemic disease requires a high level of beam intensity modulation to reduce dose to bone marrow and other critical structures. Current helical delivery machines can take 30 minutes or more of beam-on time to complete these treatments. This pilot study aims to test the feasibility of performing helical treatments with a conventional linear accelerator using longitudinal couch travel during multiple gantry revolutions.


The VMAT optimization package of the Eclipse 10.0 treatment planning system was used to optimize pseudo-helical CSI plans of 5 clinical patient scans. Each gantry revolution was divided into three 120° arcs with each isocenter shifted longitudinally. Treatments requiring more than the maximum 10 arcs used multiple plans with each plan after the first being optimized including the dose of the others (Figure 1). The beam pitch was varied between 0.2 and 0.9 (couch speed 5- 20cm/revolution and field width of 22cm) and dose-volume histograms of critical organs were compared to tomotherapy plans.


Viable pseudo-helical plans were achieved using Eclipse. Decreasing the pitch from 0.9 to 0.2 lowered the maximum lens dose by 40%, the mean bone marrow dose by 2.1% and the maximum esophagus dose by 17.5%. (Figure 2). Linac-based helical plans showed dose results comparable to tomotherapy delivery for both target coverage and critical organ sparing, with the D50 of bone marrow and esophagus respectively 12% and 31% lower in the helical linear accelerator plan (Figure 3). Total mean beam-on time for the linear accelerator plan was 8.3 minutes, 54% faster than the tomotherapy average for the same plans.


This pilot study has demonstrated the feasibility of planning pseudo-helical treatments for CSI targets using a conventional linac and dynamic couch movement, and supports the ongoing development of true helical optimization and delivery.