Patient comfort and positioning stability may be improved in the arms down (AD) compared with the typical arms up (AU) position in thoracic stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR). We compared plan quality for AD vs AU when using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), and evaluated the sensitivity of AD plans to arm positioning variability.We took plans of 14 patients with 17 lung tumors treated with thoracic SABR using VMAT in the AD position and simulated the same treatments in the AU position by re-optimizing after digitally removing the ipsilateral arm. To evaluate the sensitivity of AD plans to arm positioning variability, all plans were recalculated without re-optimization after assigning water density to the ipsilateral arm (AD-W) and then digitally shifting the arm 2.5 cm anterolaterally (AD-WS).Between AD and AU plans, statistically significant but clinically insignificant (all original planning constraints met) differences were found for the following parameters: mean planning target volume maximum dose, difference of 2.3% of prescription dose (P = .049); mean intermediate dose conformity index, difference of 0.27 (P = .012); median percent lung volume receiving a minimum of 10, 20, and 30 Gy (V10, V20, and V30), differences of 0.5%, 0.2%, and 0.1%, respectively (P = .040, .007, and .001); and median spinal cord maximum dose, difference of 33.5 cGy (P = .017). Similarly, between AD-W and AD-WS plans, statistically significant but clinically insignificant differences were found for median lung V20 and V30, difference of 0.0% for both (P = .034 and .016, by matched pair analysis).Our exploratory planning study suggests that when using VMAT for lung tumor SABR, AD and AU positioning achieve clinically equivalent plan quality, and AD plans are insensitive to relatively large variability in arm position.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.prro.2013.07.010
View details for PubMedID 24766687