Left-sided breast cancer radiotherapy with and without breath-hold: does IMRT reduce the cardiac dose even further?

Mirjam E Mast, Loes van Kempen-Harteveld, Mark W Heijenbrok, Yamoena Kalidien, Hans Rozema, Wim P A Jansen, Anna L Petoukhova, Henk Struikmans
Radiotherapy and Oncology: Journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2013, 108 (2): 248-53

PURPOSE: In radiotherapy for left-sided breast cancer, Active Breathing Control enables a decrease of cardiac and Left Anterior Descending (LAD) coronary artery dose. We compared 3D-Conformal (3D-CRT) to Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) treatment plans based on free-breathing (FB) and breath-hold (BH). We investigated whether IMRT enables an additional decrease of cardiac dose in radiotherapy plans with and without BH.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Twenty patients referred for whole breast irradiation were included. The whole breast, heart and LAD-region were contoured. Four treatment plans were generated: FB_3D-CRT; FB_IMRT; BH_3D-CRT; BH_IMRT. Several doses were obtained from Dose Volume Histograms and compared. Results were compared statistically using the Wilcoxin Signed Rank Test. For heart and LAD-region, a significant dose reduction was found in BH (p<0.01). For both BH and FB, a significant dose reduction was found using IMRT (p<0.01). By using IMRT an average reduction of 5% was noted in the LAD-region for the volume receiving 20Gy. In 5 cases, the LAD-region remained situated in the vicinity of the radiation portals even in BH. Nevertheless, with IMRT the LAD dose was reduced in these cases.

CONCLUSION: IMRT results in a significant additional decrease of dose in the heart and LAD-region in both breath-hold and free-breathing.

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