IMPT versus VMAT for pelvic nodal irradiation in prostate cancer: A dosimetric comparison

Thomas J. Whitaker, David M. Routman, Heather Schultz, William S. Harmsen, Kimberly S. Corbin, William W. Wong, Richard Choo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare dosimetric data of the organs at risk (OARs) and clinical target volumes (CTVs) between intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) and volumetricmodulated arc therapy (VMAT) for patients undergoing prostate and elective, pelvic lymph node radiotherapy in the setting of unfavorable, intermediate and high-risk prostate carcinoma. Methods and Materials: A study of moderately hypofractionated proton therapy (6750 centigray [cGy] in 25 fractions) is in progress for unfavorable, intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer where treatment includes an elective pelvic nodal CTV (4500 cGy in 25 fractions). Ten consecutively accrued patients were the subjects for dose-volume histogram comparison between IMPT and VMAT. Two treatment plans (IMPT and VMAT) were prepared for each patient with predefined planning objectives for target volumes and OARs. The IMPT plans were prepared with 2 lateral beams and VMAT plans with 2 arcs. Results: The CTV coverage was adequate for both plans with 99% of CTVs receiving ≥100% of the prescription doses. Mean doses to the bladder, rectum, large bowel, and small bowel were lower with IMPT versus VMAT. Mean femoral head dose was greater with IMPT. The percentage of volumes of rectum receiving ≤ 47.5 Gy, large bowel receiving ≤ 27.5 Gy, small bowel receiving ≤ 30 Gy, and bladder receiving ≤ 37.5 Gy was less with IMPT versus VMAT, largely because of reduction in the low-dose "bath" associated with VMAT. Conclusions: In the setting of prostate and elective, pelvic nodal radiotherapy for prostate cancer, IMPT can significantly reduce the dose to OARs, in comparison to VMAT, and provide adequate target coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Particle Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • IMRT
  • VMAT
  • dosimetry
  • prostate cancer
  • proton therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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