It has been demonstrated that the use of noncoplanar beams in radiation therapy may Result in dose distributions that are comparable or better than standard coplanar beams [Pugachev, 2001]. A radiation therapy system designed with a noncoplanar beam geometry could allow for a full ring diagnostic quality imaging system to be placed around the patient. Additionally, if the noncoplanar beams were fixed in number and in their angle with respect to the patient's axial plane, then both treatment and imaging could be achieved concurrently without the need for moving parts, which could greatly reduce treatment times. For such a system to be designed, it is necessary to determine the appropriate number of beams and the beam angles to achieve optimal dose distributions. For simplicity, the beam angles are assumed to be equiangular in the patient's axial plane, and only the beam angle with respect to the axial plane are varied. This study aims to investigate the dose distributions produced by equiangular noncoplanar beams for multiple beam numbers and beam angles, and to compare these dose distributions with distributions achieved in coplanar volumetric arc therapy (VMAT).Dose distributions produced by noncoplanar beams were calculated using the Varian Eclipse treatment planning system by varying the gantry, collimator, and couch angles to simulate the noncoplanar delivery method. Noncoplanar intensity-modulated (NC-IMRT) beams using 8, 12, and 16 beams with angles varying from 45 degrees to 54 with respect to the patient's axial plane were studied.The NC-IMRT beams produced dose distributions comparable to VMAT plans for a number of treatment sites, and were capable of meeting similar dose-volume histogram constraints.This study has demonstrated that a noncoplanar beam delivery method with fixed beam numbers and beam angles is capable of delivering dose distributions comparable to VMAT plans currently in use.
View details for DOI 10.1118/1.4924876
View details for PubMedID 26128177