Recent developments in non-coplanar radiotherapy

Authors: Gregory Smyth, PhD, Philip M Evans, DPhil, Jeffrey C Bamber, PhD and James L Bedford, PhD


This paper gives an overview of recent developments in non-coplanar intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Modern linear accelerators are capable of automating motion around multiple axes, allowing efficient delivery of highly non-coplanar radiotherapy techniques. Novel techniques developed for C-arm and non-standard linac geometries, methods of optimization, and clinical applications are reviewed. The additional degrees of freedom are shown to increase the therapeutic ratio, either through dose escalation to the target or dose reduction to functionally important organs at risk, by multiple research groups. Although significant work is still needed to translate these new non-coplanar radiotherapy techniques into the clinic, clinical implementation should be prioritized. Recent developments in non-coplanar radiotherapy demonstrate that it continues to have a place in modern cancer treatment.