Research Article| Volume 107, 102547, March 2023

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Evaluation of stereotactic VMAT lung treatment plans for small moving targets

Published:February 17, 2023DOI:


      • End-to-end tests in a dynamic respiratory thorax phantom revealed dose deviations up to 10%.
      • Largest deviations were observed for the smallest 1 cm diameter target.
      • Deviations were not highlighted by classical quality controls.
      • Calculations algorithms tend to underestimate the dose.



      The aim of this study is to perform patient quality controls and end-to-end tests for stereotactic VMAT lung treatment plans and to investigate the influence of various parameters on the results.


      18 plans were defined by an experimental design methodology to cover a large variety of stereotactic VMAT lung treatments including different doses per fraction, target diameters, target movements and respiratory parameters. Plans were first controlled using portal dosimetry and a homogeneous static cylindrical phantom. End-to-end tests were then performed in a dynamic respiratory thorax phantom. Measurements were conducted with ionization chamber and films. Calculations were performed with the AcurosXB and AAA algorithms in 6 FFF.


      Portal dosimetry gave excellent gamma pass rates (greater than 97.1 %) and dose deviations between measurement and calculations in a homogeneous static phantom were smaller than 2 %. The methodology followed for comparing calculated and measured doses in a moving target was validated in static fields (largest deviation smaller than  2 %). End-to-end tests showed mean deviations of 1.9 %, 3.3 % and 6.6 % for the 3, 2 and 1 cm diameter’s target respectively. Deviations increased for larger movements for the 1 cm lesion.


      End-to-end tests revealed that stereotactic VMAT lung treatment plans for moving targets can be delivered within 5 % for 3 and 2 cm diameter targets and amplitudes up to 1.5 cm. The AcurosXB and AAA algorithms however tend to underestimate the dose to the target. Even with satisfactory patient quality controls like portal dosimetry, extra care should be taken for GTV lesions smaller than 2 cm.


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