SU-E-T-539: Fixed Versus Variable Optimization Points in Combined-Mode Modulated Arc Therapy Planning




A novel modulated arc therapy technique, mARC, enables superposition of step-and-shoot IMRT segments upon a subset of the optimization points (OPs) of a continuous-arc delivery. We compare two approaches to mARC planning: one with the number of OPs fixed throughout optimization, and another where the planning system determines the number of OPs in the final plan, subject to an upper limit defined at the outset.


Fixed-OP mARC planning was performed for representative cases using Panther v. 5.01 (Prowess, Inc.), while variable-OP mARC planning used Monaco v. 5.00 (Elekta, Inc.). All Monaco planning used an upper limit of 91 OPs; those OPs with minimal MU were removed during optimization. Plans were delivered, and delivery times recorded, on a Siemens Artiste accelerator using a flat 6MV beam with 300 MU/min rate. Dose distributions measured using ArcCheck (Sun Nuclear Corporation, Inc.) were compared with the plan calculation; the two were deemed consistent if they agreed to within 3.5% in absolute dose and 3.5 mm in distance-to-agreement among > 95% of the diodes within the direct beam.


Example cases included a prostate and a head-and-neck planned with a single arc and fraction doses of 1.8 and 2.0 Gy, respectively. Aside from slightly more uniform target dose for the variable-OP plans, the DVHs for the two techniques were similar. For the fixed-OP technique, the number of OPs was 38 and 39, and the delivery time was 228 and 259 seconds, respectively, for the prostate and head-and-neck cases. For the final variable-OP plans, there were 91 and 85 OPs, and the delivery time was 296 and 440 seconds, correspondingly longer than for fixed-OP.


For mARC, both the fixed-OP and variable-OP approaches produced comparable-quality plans whose delivery was successfully verified. To keep delivery time per fraction short, a fixed-OP planning approach is preferred.