Decrease of the lumpectomy cavity volume after whole-breast irradiation affects small field boost planning

Majid M Mohiuddin, Elizabeth M Nichols, Kimberley J Marter, Todd W Flannery
Medical Dosimetry: Official Journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 2012, 37 (3): 339-43
To determine whether small field boost (SFB) replanning is necessary when the lumpectomy cavity (LPC) decreases during whole-breast irradiation (WBI) and what parameters might predict a change in the SFB plan. Forty patients had computed tomography (CT) simulation (CT1) within 60 days of surgery and were resimulated (CT2) after 37.8-41.4 Gy for SFB planning. A 3-field photon plan and a single en face electron plan were created on both CTs and compared. In the 26 patients who had a ≥5 cm(3) and a ≥25% decrease in lumpectomy cavity volume (LCV) between CT scans, the SFB plan using photons was different in terms of normal breast tissue volume irradiated (BTV) (p < 0.001), and field dimensions (p < 0.001). In 20/35 patients, the energy or field size changed for electron plans on CT2, but no tested characteristics predicted for a change. Less BTV was irradiated using electrons than photons in 29% (CT1) to 37% (CT2). SFB replanning needs to be individualized to each patient because of the variety of factors that can impact dosimetric planning. Replanning is recommended when using 3-field photons if the patient has experienced a ≥5 cm(3) and a ≥25% decrease in LCV during WBI. Some patients may benefit from electron SFB replanning but no tested characteristics reliably predict those who may benefit the most. The amount of BTV irradiated is less with electrons than in photon plans and this has the potential to improve cosmesis, a clinically important outcome in breast-conserving therapy.

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