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JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The UK HeartSpare Study (Stage IB): randomised comparison of a voluntary breath-hold technique and prone radiotherapy after breast conserving surgery

Frederick R Bartlett, Ruth M Colgan, Ellen M Donovan, Helen A McNair, Karen Carr, Philip M Evans, Clare Griffin, Imogen Locke, Joanne S Haviland, John R Yarnold, Anna M Kirby
Radiotherapy and Oncology 2015, 114 (1): 66-72
25739317

PURPOSE: To compare mean heart and left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) doses (NTDmean) and positional reproducibility in larger-breasted women receiving left breast radiotherapy using supine voluntary deep-inspiratory breath-hold (VBH) and free-breathing prone techniques.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Following surgery for early breast cancer, patients with estimated breast volumes >750 cm(3) underwent planning-CT scans in supine VBH and free-breathing prone positions. Radiotherapy treatment plans were prepared, and mean heart and LAD doses were calculated. Patients were randomised to receive one technique for fractions 1-7, before switching techniques for fractions 8-15 (40 Gy/15 fractions total). Daily electronic portal imaging and alternate-day cone-beam CT (CBCT) imaging were performed. The primary endpoint was the difference in mean LAD NTDmean between techniques. Population systematic (Σ) and random errors (σ) were estimated. Within-patient comparisons between techniques used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.

RESULTS: 34 patients were recruited, with complete dosimetric data available for 28. Mean heart and LAD NTDmean doses for VBH and prone treatments respectively were 0.4 and 0.7 (p<0.001) and 2.9 and 7.8 (p<0.001). Clip-based CBCT errors for VBH and prone respectively were ⩽3.0 mm and ⩽6.5 mm (Σ) and ⩽3.5 mm and ⩽5.4 mm (σ).

CONCLUSIONS: In larger-breasted women, supine VBH provided superior cardiac sparing and reproducibility than a free-breathing prone position.

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