Change in volume of lumpectomy cavity during external-beam irradiation of the intact breast

Geraldine Jacobson, Vicki Betts, Brian Smith
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2006 July 15, 65 (4): 1161-4

PURPOSE: Definition of the lumpectomy cavity is an important component of irradiation of the breast. We use computed tomography (CT)-based planning and contour the lumpectomy volume on the planning CT. We obtained a second CT in the 4th or 5th week of treatment for boost planning and compared the volume change with the first planning-CT scan.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: This retrospective study reviewed the planning-CT data for 20 patients. In the first CT, images were obtained from the mandible to 2 cm below the breast in 3-mm slices. In the second CT, for the boost, images were obtained from the top to the bottom of the clinically defined breast, in 3-mm slices. Lumpectomy cavities were contoured on both CT scans and volumes compared.

RESULTS: Sixteen of the 20 patients (80%) had more than a 20% decrease from the first to the second volume, with a corresponding 95% confidence interval. The mean decrease was 16.13 cc, with a standard deviation of 14.05. The Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.18 did not show a significant correlation between the initial volume and the percent change.

CONCLUSIONS: During external breast irradiation, many patients will have significant volume reduction in the lumpectomy cavity. Because CT-based definition of the lumpectomy cavity can influence the planning of a boost technique, further study appears warranted.

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