To compare the quality of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans generated by an automated inverse planning system with that of dosimetrist-generated IMRT treatment plans for patients with stage III lung cancer.
Methods and Materials
Two groups of eight patients with stage III lung cancer were randomly selected. For group I, the dosimetrists spent their best effort in designing IMRT plans to compete with the automated inverse planning system (mdaccAutoPlan); for group II, the dosimetrists were not in competition and spent their regular effort. Five experienced radiation oncologists independently blind-reviewed and ranked the three plans for each patient, a rank of “1” being the best and “3” the worst. Dosimetric measures were also performed to quantitatively evaluate the three types of plans.
Blind rankings from different oncologists were generally consistent. For group I, the auto-VMAT, auto-IMRT, and manual-IMRT plans received average ranks of 1.6, 2.13, and 2.18, respectively. The auto-VMAT plans in group I had 10% higher PTV conformality and 24% lower esophagus V70 than the manual-IMRT plans; they also resulted in over 20% higher complication-free tumor control probability (p+) than either type of IMRT plans. The auto- and manual-IMRT plans in this group yielded generally comparable dosimetric measures. For group II, the auto-VMAT, auto-IMRT, and manual-IMRT plans received average ranks of 1.55, 1.75, and 2.75, respectively. Compared to the manual-IMRT plans in this group, the auto-VMAT plans and the auto-IMRT plans showed, respectively, 17% and 14% higher PTV dose conformality, 8% and 17% lower mean lung dose, 17% and 26% lower mean heart dose, and 36% and 23% higher p+.
mdaccAutoPlan is capable of generating high-quality VMAT and IMRT treatment plans for stage III lung cancer. Manual-IMRT plans could achieve quality similar to auto-IMRT plans if best effort were spent.