Helical tomotherapy significantly reduces dose to normal tissues when compared to 3D-CRT for locally advanced rectal cancer

Pavan M. Jhaveri, Bin S. Teh, Arnold C. Paulino, Mindy J. Smiedala, Bridget Fahy, Walter Grant, John McGary, Edward Brian Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Combined modality treatment (neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery) for locally advanced rectal cancer requires special attention to various organs at risk (OAR). As a result, the use of conformal dose delivery methods has become more common in this disease setting. Helical tomotherapy is an image-guided intensity modulated delivery system that delivers dose in a fan-beam manner at 7 degree intervals around the patient and can potentially limit normal tissue from high dose radiation while adequately treating targets. In this study we dosimetrically compare helical tomotherapy to 3D-CRT for stage T3 rectal cancer. The helical tomotherapy plans were optimized in the TomoPlan system to achieve an equivalent uniform dose of 45 Gy for 10 patients with T3N0M0 disease that was at least 5cm from the anal verge. The GTV included the rectal thickening and mass evident on colonoscopy and CT scan as well as with the help of a colorectal surgeon. The CTV included the internal iliac, obturator, and pre-sacral lymphatic chains. The OAR that were outlined included the small bowel, pelvic bone marrow, femoral heads, and bladder. Anatom-e system was used to assist in delineating GTV, CTV and OAR. These 10 plans were then duplicated and optimized into 3-field 3D-CRT plans within the Pinnacle planning system.The V[45], V[40], V[30], V[20], V[10], and mean dose to the OAR were compared between the helical tomotherapy and 3D-CRT plans. Statistically significant differences were achieved in the doses to all OAR, including all volumes and means except for V[10] for the small bowel and the femoral heads. Adequate dosimetric coverage of targets were achieved with both helical tomotherapy and 3D-CRT. Helical tomotherapy reduces the volume of normal tissue receiving high-dose RT when compared to 3D-CRT treatment. Both modalities adequately dose the tumor. Clinical studies addressing the dosimetric benefits are on-going.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalTechnology in Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • 3D-CRT
  • Dosimetry
  • Helical tomotherapy
  • IGRT
  • Locally advanced rectal cancer
  • Rectal adenocarcinoma
  • T3 rectal cancer
  • Tomotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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