Original paper| Volume 77, P160-168, September 2020

Virtual Tangential-fields Arc Therapy (ViTAT) for whole breast irradiation: Technique optimization and validation

Published:August 28, 2020DOI:


      • ViTAT mimics the dose distribution of tangential fields (TF) plans.
      • Using 20° sectors of four arcs is needed to mimic the delivery of TF.
      • Better PTV homogeneity and lower dose to contralateral OARs are obtained.
      • Mean dose to ipsilateral OARs are unchanged; body integral dose reduced.
      • ViTAT may translate KB-models based on TF data into efficient automatic planning.



      To test the performances of a volumetric arc technique named ViTAT (Virtual Tangential-fields Arc Therapy) mimicking tangential field irradiation for whole breast radiotherapy.


      ViTAT plans consisted in 4 arcs whose starting/ending position were established based on gantry angle distribution of clinical plans for right and left-breast. The arcs were completely blocked excluding the first and last 20°. Different virtual bolus densities and thicknesses were preliminarily evaluated to obtain the best plan performances. For 40 patients with tumor laterality equally divided between right and left sides, ViTAT plans were optimized considering the clinical DVHs for OARs (resulting from tangential field manual planning) to constrain them: ViTAT plans were compared with the clinical tangential-fields in terms of DVH parameters for both PTV and OARs.


      Distal angle values were suggested in the ranges [220°,240°] for the right-breast and [115°,135°] for the left-breast cases; medial angles were [60°,40°] for the right side and [295°,315°] for the left side, limiting the risk of collision. The optimal virtual bolus had −500 HU density and 1.5 cm thickness. ViTAT plans generated dose distributions very similar to the tangential-field plans, with significantly improved PTV homogeneity. The mean doses of ipsilateral OARs were comparable between the two techniques with minor increase of the low-dose spread in the range 2–15 Gy (few % volume); contralateral OARs were slightly better spared with ViTAT.


      ViTAT dose distributions were similar to tangential-fields. ViTAT should allow automatic plan optimization by developing knowledge-based DVH prediction models of patients treated with tangential-fields.


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