Impact of increasing margin around the lumpectomy cavity to define the planning target volume for 3D conformal external beam accelerated partial breast irradiation

Brett W Cox, Kathleen C Horst, Sherri Thornton, Frederick M Dirbas
Medical Dosimetry: Official Journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 2007, 32 (4): 254-62
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dose to normal tissues as a function of increasing margins around the lumpectomy cavity in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT). Eight patients with Stage 0-I breast cancer underwent treatment planning for 3DCRT APBI. The clinical target volume (CTV) was defined as a 15-mm expansion around the cavity limited by the chest wall and skin. Three planning target volumes (PTV1, PTV2, PTV3) were generated for each patient using a 0, 5-, and 10-mm expansion around the CTV, for a total margin of 15, 20, and 25 mm. Three treatment plans were generated for every patient using the 3 PTVs, and dose-volume analysis was performed for each plan. For each 5-mm increase in margin, the mean PTV:total breast volume ratio increased 10% and the relative increase in the mean ipsilateral breast dose was 15%. The mean volume of ipsilateral breast tissue receiving 75%, 50%, and 25% of the prescribed dose increased 6% to 7% for every 5 mm increase in PTV margin. Compared to lesions located in the upper outer quadrant, plans for medially located tumors revealed higher mean ipsilateral breast doses and 20% to 22% more ipsilateral breast tissue encompassed by the 25% IDL. The use of 3DCRT for APBI delivers higher doses to normal breast tissue as the PTV increases around the lumpectomy cavity. Efforts should be made to minimize the overall PTV when this technique is used. Ongoing studies will be necessary to determine the clinical relevance of these findings.

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