The aim of this study is to demonstrate the use of inverse planning in three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) of oesophageal cancer patients and to evaluate its dosimetric results by comparing them with forward planning of 3DCRT and inverse planning of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). For each of the 15 oesophageal cancer patients in this study, the forward 3DCRT, inverse 3DCRT and inverse IMRT plans were produced using the FOCUS treatment planning system. The dosimetric results and the planner's time associated with each of the treatment plans were recorded for comparison. The inverse 3DCRT plans showed similar dosimetric results to the forward plans in the planning target volume (PTV) and organs at risk (OARs). However, they were inferior to that of the IMRT plans in terms of tumour control probability and target dose conformity. Furthermore, the inverse 3DCRT plans were less effective in reducing the percentage lung volume receiving a dose below 25 Gy when compared with the IMRT plans. The inverse 3DCRT plans delivered a similar heart dose as in the forward plans, but higher dose than the IMRT plans. The inverse 3DCRT plans significantly reduced the operator's time by 2.5 fold relative to the forward plans. In conclusion, inverse planning for 3DCRT is a reasonable alternative to the forward planning for oesophageal cancer patients with reduction of the operator's time. However, IMRT has the better potential to allow further dose escalation and improvement of tumour control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging