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A comparison of robotic arm versus gantry linear accelerator stereotactic body radiation therapy for prostate cancer

Authors Avkshtol V, Dong Y, Hayes S, Hallman M, Price R, Sobczak M, Horwitz E, Zaorsky N

Received 7 October 2015

Accepted for publication 16 May 2016

Published 18 August 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 145—158


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jan Colli

Vladimir Avkshtol, Yanqun Dong, Shelly B Hayes, Mark A Hallman, Robert A Price, Mark L Sobczak, Eric M Horwitz,* Nicholas G Zaorsky*

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer diagnosed in men in the United States besides skin cancer. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT; 6–15 Gy per fraction, up to 45 minutes per fraction, delivered in five fractions or less, over the course of approximately 2 weeks) is emerging as a popular treatment option for prostate cancer. The American Society for Radiation Oncology now recognizes SBRT for select low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients. SBRT grew from the notion that high doses of radiation typical of brachytherapy could be delivered noninvasively using modern external-beam radiation therapy planning and delivery methods. SBRT is most commonly delivered using either a traditional gantry-mounted linear accelerator or a robotic arm-mounted linear accelerator. In this systematic review article, we compare and contrast the current clinical evidence supporting a gantry vs robotic arm SBRT for prostate cancer. The data for SBRT show encouraging and comparable results in terms of freedom from biochemical failure (>90% for low and intermediate risk at 5–7 years) and acute and late toxicity (<6% grade 3–4 late toxicities). Other outcomes (eg, overall and cancer-specific mortality) cannot be compared, given the indolent course of low-risk prostate cancer. At this time, neither SBRT device is recommended over the other for all patients; however, gantry-based SBRT machines have the abilities of treating larger volumes with conventional fractionation, shorter treatment time per fraction (~15 minutes for gantry vs ~45 minutes for robotic arm), and the ability to achieve better plans among obese patients (since they are able to use energies >6 MV). Finally, SBRT (particularly on a gantry) may also be more cost-effective than conventionally fractionated external-beam radiation therapy. Randomized controlled trials of SBRT using both technologies are underway.

Keywords: prostate cancer, stereotactic body radiation therapy, technology, quality of life

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