According to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, the use of volume-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) to deliver intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to prostate cancer patients results in an overall reduction in treatment time of approximately 14 percent. The study was performed at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta.
Treatment with IMRT is increasingly standard for prostate cancer. However, although the benefits of IMRT in the treatment of prostate cancer are ample, it remains a complex and time-consuming treatment modality that requires numerous gantry positions, a large number of monitor units and considerable daily treatment time commitments by patients.
"Given the time requirement by patients for daily prostate cancer treatment, we aimed to measure the true efficiency of VMAT treatment compared with IMRT using custom institutional software to record the actual in-room times," said William A. Hall, MD, author of the study.
Custom institutional software was used to mine the treatment times from the record-and-verify database. The in-room time (the time between patient entry and exit) was computed for each patient. Average room time was compared between VMAT patients and IMRT patients. Subgroup comparisons (1-arc or 2-arc VMAT, 5-field or 7-field IMRT, and electromagnetic transponder [Calypso] or gold-marker tracking) were performed.