Risk of target coverage loss for stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment of synchronous lung lesions via single-isocenter volumetric modulated arc therapy

Lana C. Critchfield, Mark E. Bernard, Marcus E. Randall, Ronald C. McGarry, Damodar Pokhrel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Treating multiple lung lesions synchronously via single-isocenter volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) improves treatment efficiency and patient compliance. However, aligning multiple lung tumors accurately on single pretreatment cone beam CTs (CBCTs) can be problematic. Tumors misaligned could lead to target coverage loss. To quantify this potential target coverage loss due to small, clinically realistic setup errors, a novel simulation method was developed. This method was used on 26 previously treated patients with two metastatic lung lesions. Patients were treated with 4D CT-based, highly conformal noncoplanar VMAT plans (clinical VMAT) with 6MV-flattening filter free (FFF) beam using AcurosXB dose calculation algorithm with heterogeneity corrections. A single isocenter was placed approximately between the lesions to improve patient convenience and clinic workflow. Average isocenter to tumor distance was 5.9 cm. Prescription dose was 54 Gy/50 Gy in 3/5 fractions. For comparison, a plan summation (simulated VMAT) was executed utilizing randomly simulated, clinically relevant setup errors, obtained from pretreatment setup, per treatment fraction, in Eclipse treatment planning system for each of the six degrees of freedom within ± 5.0 mm and ± 2°. Simulations yielded average deviations of 27.4% (up to 72% loss) (P < 0.001) from planned target coverage when treating multiple lung lesions using a single-isocenter plan. The largest deviations from planned coverage and desired biological effective dose (BED10, with α/β = 10 Gy) were seen for the smallest targets (<10 cc), some of which received < 100 Gy BED10. Patient misalignment resulted in substantial decrease in conformity and increase in the gradient index, violating major characteristics of SBRT. Statistically insignificant differences were seen for normal tissue dose. Although, clinical follow-up of these patients is ongoing, the authors recommend an alternative treatment planning strategy to minimize the probability of a geometric miss when treating small lung lesions synchronously with single-isocenter VMAT SBRT plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, LLC on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


  • BED10
  • coverage loss
  • lung SBRT
  • setup errors
  • single-Isocenter VMAT
  • synchronous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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