Assessment of volumetric-modulated arc therapy for constant and variable dose rates

Mariluz De Ornelas-Couto, Ivaylo Mihaylov, Nesrin Dogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The aim of this study is to compare the effects of dose rate on volumetric-modulated arc therapy plans to determine optimal dose rates for prostate and head and neck (HN) cases. Materials and Methods: Ten prostate and ten HN cases were retrospectively studied. For each case, seven plans were generated: one variable dose rate (VDR) and six constant dose rate (CDR) (100-600 monitor units [MUs]/min) plans. Prescription doses were: 80 Gy to planning target volume (PTV) for the prostate cases, and 70, 60, and 54 Gy to PTV1, PTV2, and PTV3, respectively, for HN cases. Plans were normalized to 95% of the PTV and PTV1, respectively, with the prescription dose. Plans were assessed using Dose-Volume-Histogram metrics, homogeneity index, conformity index, MUs, and delivery time. Results: For the prostate cases, significant differences were found for rectum D35 between VDR and all CDR plans, except CDR500. Furthermore, VDR was significantly different than CDR100 and 200 for bladder D50. Delivery time for all CDR plans and MUs for CDR400-600 were significantly higher when compared to VDR. HN cases showed significant differences between VDR and CDR100, 500 and 600 for D2 to the cord and brainstem. Significant differences were found for delivery time and MUs for all CDR plans, except CDR100 for number of MUs. Conclusion: The most significant differences were observed in delivery time and number of MUs. All-in-all, the best CDR for prostate cases was found to be 300 MUs/min and 200 or 300 MUs/min for HN cases. However, VDR plans are still the choice in terms of MU efficiency and plan quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Dose rate
  • head and neck
  • prostate
  • volumetric modulated arc therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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