Transferability of patients for radiation treatment between unmatched machines

Joseph J. Foy, Serpil K. Dogan, Poonam Yadav, Bharat B. Mittal, Indra J. Das*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The feasibility of transferring patients between unmatched machines for a limited number of treatment fractions was investigated for three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatments. Methods: Eighty patient-plans were evaluated on two unmatched linacs: Elekta Versa HD and Elekta Infinity. Plans were equally divided into pelvis 3DCRT, prostate VMAT, brain VMAT, and lung VMAT plans. While maintaining the number of monitor units (MUs), plans were recalculated on the machine not originally used for treatment. Relative differences in dose were calculated between machines for the target volume and organs at risk (OARs). Differences in mean dose were assessed with paired t-tests (p < 0.05). The number of interchangeable fractions allowable before surpassing a cumulative ±5% difference in dose was determined. Additionally, patient-specific quality assurance (PSQA) measurements using ArcCHECK for both machines were compared with distributions calculated on the machine originally used for treatment using gradient compensation (GC) with 2%/2-mm criteria. Results: Interchanging the two machines for pelvic 3DCRT and VMAT (prostate, brain, and lung) plans resulted in an average change in target mean dose of 0.9%, −0.5%, 0.6%, 0.5%, respectively. Based on the differences in dose to the prescription point when changing machines, statistically, nearly one-fourth of the prescribed fractions could be transferred between linacs for 3DCRT plans. While all of the prescribed fractions could typically be transferred among prostate VMAT plans, a rather large number of treatment fractions, 31% and 38%, could be transferred among brain and lung VMAT plans, respectively, without exceeding a ±5% change in the prescribed dose for two Elekta machines. Additionally, the OAR dosage was not affected within the given criterion with change of machine. Conclusions: Despite small differences in calculated dose, transferring patients between two unmatched Elekta machines with similar multileaf collimator (MLC)-head for target coverage and minimum changes in OAR dose is possible for a limited number of fractions (≤3) to improve clinical flexibility and institutional throughput along with patient satisfaction. A similar study could be carried out for other machines for operational throughput.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13544
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • beam matching
  • operation
  • patient-specific QA
  • treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Transferability of patients for radiation treatment between unmatched machines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this