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VMAT (Volumetric ARC Modulated Therapy) Technology in Radiotherapy: Benefits

Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in head and neck cancers (HNC) has been in use for around two decades. It has clearly been seen that IMRT results not only in a better dose distribution profile to organs at risk (OAR) when compared to 3 dimensional conformal planning , but also in an improved overall survival, progression free survival , locoregional controlĀ  and quality of life. IMRT has the unique capability of producing inhomogeneous dose distributions, allowing simultaneous delivery of different doses per fraction to different areas within the treatment field.

VMAT (Volumetric arc modulated therapy) Technology in Radiotherapy: Benefits Volumetric-arc-modulated-therapy1

It has the potential radiobiological advantage of reducing the impact of accelerated repopulation in tumor clonogens by using simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) technique. Increasing use of IMRT has also witnessed a growing concern regarding second malignancies as a result of an increase in the treatment time, worsening the accuracy of treatment due to increased intra fractional patient motionĀ  and reduction of patient throughput with economic consequences. Besides, it also leads to patient discomfort on the treatment couch and affects reproducibility of treatment position.

It has been seen in various studies that techniques like VMAT, first introduced in 2007, results in:

  1. Fast delivery of radiation,
  2. Provide better sparing of OARs and
  3. Provide more uniform and conformal dose distributions to the target volumes as a result of various factors such as continuous modulation of multileaf collimators (MLC), field shape, fluence rate, gantry rotation speed and collimator angle .
  4. This may also enable more frequent online imaging.

At Dharamshila Hospital & Research Centre, we have state of art VMAT enabled Linear accelerator installed and functional since 2010.

Dr Sheh Rawat

Chief of Radiation Oncology services

Dharamshila Hospital & Research Centre

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