Effects of field parameters on IMRT plan quality for gynecological cancer: a case study.

Albert Y.C. Fung, Charles A. Enke, Komanduri M. Ayyangar, Robert B. Thompson, Weining Zhen, Natarajan V. Raman, David Djajaputra, Sicong Li, Ramasamy M. Nehru, Sushakumari Pillai, Paul Sourivong, Mary Headley, Ann L. Yager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Traditional external beam radiotherapy of gynecological cancer consists of a 3D, four-field-box technique. The radiation treatment area is a large region of normal tissue, with greater inhomogeneity over the treatment volume, which could benefit more with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This is a case report of IMRT planning for a patient with endometrial cancer. The planning target volume (PTV) spanned the intrapelvic and periaortic lymph nodes to a 33-cm length. Planning and treatment were accomplished using double isocenters. The IMRT plan was compared with a 3D plan, and the effects of field parameters were studied. Delineated anatomical contours included the intrapelvic nodes (PTV), bone marrow, small bowel, bladder, rectum, sigmoid colon, periaortic nodes (PTV), spinal cord, left kidney, right kidney, large bowel, liver, and tissue (excluding the PTVs). Comparisons were made between IMRT and 3D plans, 23-MV and 6-MV energies, zero and rotated collimator angles, different numbers of segments, and opposite gantry angle configurations. The plans were evaluated based on dosevolume histograms (DVHs). Compared with the 3D plan, the IMRT plan had superior dose conformity and spared the bladder and sigmoid colon embedded in the intrapelvic nodes. The higher energy (23 MV) reduced the dose to most critical organs and delivered less integral dose. Zero collimator angles resulted in a better plan than "optimized" collimator angles, with lower dose to most of the normal structures. The number of segments did not have much effect on isodose distribution, but a reasonable number of segments was necessary to keep treatment time from being prohibitively long. Gantry angles, when evenly spaced, had no noticeable effect on the plan. The patient tolerated the treatment well, and the initial complete blood count was favorable. Our results indicated that large-volume tumor sites may also benefit from precise conformal delivery of IMRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-62
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics / American College of Medical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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