Two novel stereotactic radiotherapy methods for locally advanced, previously irradiated head and neck cancers patients

Damodar Pokhrel, Josh Misa, Shane McCarthy, Eddy S. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine the feasibility and utility of conebeam CT-guided stereotactic radiotherapy for locally recurrent, previously irradiated head and neck cancer (HNC) patients on the Halcyon, a ring delivery system (RDS). This research aims to quantify plan quality, treatment delivery accuracy, and overall efficacy by comparing against novel clinical TrueBeam HyperArc method. Ten recurrent HNC patients who were treated at our institution on TrueBeam (6MV-FFF) for 30 to 40 Gy in 3 to 5 fractions with noncoplanar HyperArc plans were re-planned on Halcyon (6MV-FFF). These plans were re-planned with the same Acuros-based dose engine. Additionally, we used site-specific full/partial coplanar VMAT arcs. PTV coverage, mean dose to GTV, maximum dose to organs-at-risk (OAR), beam-on time (BOT), and quality assurance (QA) results were investigated and compared. Halcyon provided highly conformal HNC SRT plans with slightly superior mean PTVD99 coverage (96.7% vs 95.5%, p = 0.071), and slightly lower mean GTV dose (37.8 Gy vs 38.2 Gy, p = 0.241) when compared to the HyperArc plans. Differences in plan conformality and maximum dose to OARs were statistically insignificant. Due to Halcyon's coplanar geometry, D2cm was significantly higher (p = 0.001) but Halcyon did result in a reduced normal brain dose by 1 Gy on average and up to 5.2 Gy in some cases. Halcyon provided similar patient-specific QA pass rates with a 2%/2mm gamma criteria (98.2% vs 98.5%) and independent in-house Monte Carlo second check results (97.7% vs 98.2%), suggesting identical treatment delivery accuracy. Halcyon plans resulted in slightly longer beam-on time (3.16 vs 2.30 minutes, p = 0.010), however door-to-door patient time is expected to be <10 minutes. Compared to clinical TrueBeam HyperArc, Halcyon SRT plans provided similar plan quality and treatment delivery accuracy with a potentially faster overall treatment using fully automated patient setup and verification. Rapid delivery of recurrent HNC SRT may reduce intrafraction motion errors while also improving patient compliance and comfort. To provide high-quality of HNC SRT similar to HyperArc, we recommend Halcyon users consider commissioning this novel method. This method will be useful for remote and underserved patient cohorts including Halcyon-only clinics as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Association of Medical Dosimetrists


  • AcurosXB algorithm
  • Halcyon RDS
  • HyperArc
  • Recurrent head and neck SRT
  • VMAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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