Background and purpose: To evaluate the dosimetric sparing and robustness against inter-fraction anatomical changes between photon and proton dose distributions for children with abdominal tumors.
Material and methods: Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and intensity-modulated pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton dose distributions were calculated for 20 abdominal pediatric cases (average 3, range 1-8 years). VMAT plans were based on a full-arc while PBS plans on 2-3 posterior-oblique irradiation fields. Plans were robustly optimized on a patient-specific internal target volume (ITV) using a uniform 5 mm set-up uncertainty. Additionally, for the PBS plans a +/- 3% proton range uncertainty was accounted for. Fractional dose re-calculations were performed using the planning computed tomography (CT) deformably registered to the daily cone-beam CT (CBCT) images. Fractional doses were accumulated rigidly. Planned and CBCT accumulated VMAT and PBS dose distributions were compared using dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters.
Results: Significant better sparing of the organs at risk with a maximum reduction in the mean dose of 40% was achieved with PBS. Mean ITV DVH parameters differences between planned and CBCT accumulated dose distributions were smaller than 0.5% for both VMAT and PBS. However, the ITV coverage (V-95% > 99%) was not reached for one patient for the accumulated VMAT dose distribution.
Conclusions: For pediatric patients with abdominal tumors, improved dosimetric sparing was obtained with PBS compared to VMAT. In addition, PBS delivered by posterior-oblique irradiation fields demonstrated to be robust against anatomical inter-fraction changes. Compared to PBS, daily anatomical changes proved to affect the target coverage of VMAT dose distributions to a higher extent. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.