Is there room for combined modality treatments? Dosimetric comparison of boost strategies for advanced head and neck and prostate cancer
Góra J, Hopfgartner J, Kuess P, Paskeviciute B, Georg D. J Radiat Res. 2013 Jul;54 Suppl 1:i97-i112. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrt067.


Department of Radiooncology, Division of Medical Radiation Physics, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University Vienna/AKH Wien Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


The purpose of the study was to determine the dosimetric difference between three emerging treatment modalities-volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), intensity-modulated proton beam therapy (IMPT) and intensity-modulated carbon ion beam therapy (IMIT)-for two tumour sites where selective boosting of the tumour is applied. For 10 patients with locally advanced head and neck (H&N) cancer and 10 with high-risk prostate cancer (PC) a VMAT plan was generated for PTVinitial that included lymph node regions, delivering 50 Gy (IsoE) for H&N and 50.4 Gy (IsoE) for PC patients. Furthermore, separate boost plans (VMAT, IMPT and IMIT) were created to boost PTVboost up to 70 Gy (IsoE) and 78 Gy (IsoE) for H&N and PC cases, respectively. Doses to brainstem, myelon, larynx and parotid glands were assessed for H&N cases. Additionally, various OARs (e.g. cochlea, middle ear, masticator space) were evaluated that are currently discussed with respect to quality of life after treatment. For PC cases, bladder, rectum and femoral heads were considered as OARs. For both tumour sites target goals were easily met. Looking at OAR sparing, generally VMAT + VMAT was worst. VMAT + IMIT had the potential to spare some structures in very close target vicinity (such as cochlea, middle ear, masticator space ) significantly better than VMAT + IMPT. Mean doses for rectal and bladder wall were on average 4 Gy (IsoE) and 1.5 Gy (IsoE) higher, respectively, compared to photons plus particles scenarios. Similar results were found for parotid glands and larynx. Concerning target coverage, no significant differences were observed between the three treatment concepts. Clear dosimetric benefits were observed for particle beam therapy as boost modality. However, the clinical benefit of combined modality treatments remains to be demonstrated.