Evaluation of Dosimetric Effect Caused by Slowing MLC Leaves for Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
This study is to report 1) the sensitivity of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) QA method for clinical volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans with multi-leaf collimator (MLC) leaf errors that will not trigger MLC interlock during beam delivery; 2) the effect of non-beam-hold MLC leaf errors on the quality of VMAT plan dose delivery. Eleven VMAT plans were selected and modified using an in-house developed software. For each control point of a VMAT arc, MLC leaves with the highest speed (1.87-1.95 cm/s) were set to move at the maximal allowable speed (2.3 cm/s), which resulted in a leaf position difference of less than 2 mm. The modified plans were considered as ‘standard’ plans, and the original plans were treated as the ‘slowing MLC’ plans for simulating ‘standard’ plans with leaves moving at relatively lower speed. The measurement of each ‘slowing MLC’ plan using MapCHECK®2 was compared with calculated planar dose of the ‘standard’ plan with respect to absolute dose Van Dyk distance-to-agreement (DTA) comparisons using 3%/3 mm and 2%/2 mm criteria. All ‘slowing MLC’ plans passed the 90% pass rate threshold using 3%/3 mm criteria while one brain and three anal VMAT cases were below 90% with 2%/2 mm criteria. For ten out of eleven cases, DVH comparisons between ‘standard’ and ‘slowing MLC’ plans demonstrated minimal dosimetric changes in targets and organs-at-risk. For highly modulated VMAT plans, pass rate threshold using 3%/3 mm criteria is not sensitive in detecting MLC leaf errors that will not trigger the MLC leaf interlock. However, the consequential effects of non-beam hold MLC errors on target and OAR doses are negligible, which supports the reliability of current patient-specific IMRT quality assurance (QA) method for VMAT plans.
Keywords: VMAT, MLC, MapCHECK2, quality assurance, DVH