Reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold irradiation with forward intensity-modulated radiotherapy for left-sided breast cancer significantly reduces cardiac radiation exposure compared to inverse intensity-modulated radiotherapy

Yasemin Bolukbasi, Yucel Saglam, Ugur Selek, Erkan Topkan, Anglina Kataria, Zeynep Unal, Vildan Alpan
Tumori 2014, 100 (2): 169-78

AIMS AND BACKGROUND: To investigate the objective utility of our clinical routine of reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold irradiation for left-sided breast cancer patients on reducing cardiac exposure.

METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Free-breathing and reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold scans were evaluated for our 10 consecutive left-sided breast cancer patients treated with reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold. The study was based on the adjuvant dose of 50 Gy in 25 fractions of 2 Gy/fraction. Both inverse and forward intensity-modulated radiotherapy plans were generated for each computed tomography dataset.

RESULTS: Reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold plans with forward intensity-modulated radiotherapy significantly spared the heart and left anterior descending artery compared to generated free-breathing plans based on mean doses - free-breathing vs reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold, left ventricle (296.1 vs 94.5 cGy, P = 0.005), right ventricle (158.3 vs 59.2 cGy, P = 0.005), left anterior descending artery (171.1 vs 78.1 cGy, P = 0.005), and whole heart (173.9 vs 66 cGy, P = 0.005), heart V20 (2.2% vs 0%, P = 0.007) and heart V10 (4.2% vs 0.3%, P = 0.007) - whereas they revealed no additional burden on the ipsilateral lung. Reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold and free-breathing plans with inverse intensity-modulated radiotherapy provided similar organ at risk sparing by reducing the mean doses to the left ventricle, left anterior descending artery, heart, V10-V20 of the heart and right ventricle. However, forward intensity-modulated radiotherapy showed significant reduction in doses to the left ventricle, left anterior descending artery, heart, right ventricle, and contralateral breast (mean dose, 248.9 to 12.3 cGy, P = 0.005). The mean doses for free-breathing vs reproducible deep-inspiration breath-hold of the proximal left anterior descending artery were 1.78 vs 1.08 Gy and of the distal left anterior descending artery were 8.11 vs 3.89 Gy, whereas mean distances to the 50 Gy isodose line of the proximal left anterior descending artery were 6.6 vs 3.3 cm and of the distal left anterior descending artery were 7.4 vs 4.1 cm, with forward intensity-modulated radiotherapy. Overall reduction in mean doses to proximal and distal left anterior descending artery with deep-inspiration breath-hold irradiation was 39% (P = 0.02) and 52% (P = 0.002), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: We found a significant reduction of radiation exposure to the contralateral breast, left and right ventricles, as well as of proximal and especially distal left anterior descending artery with the deep-inspiration breath-hold technique with forward intensity-modulated radiotherapy planning.

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