Cardiac dose reduction during tangential breast irradiation using deep inspiration breath hold: a dose comparison study based on deformable image registration

Ji Hyeon Joo, Su Ssan Kim, Seung Do Ahn, Jungwon Kwak, Chiyoung Jeong, Sei-Hyun Ahn, Byung-Ho Son, Jong Won Lee
Radiation Oncology 2015, 10: 264

BACKGROUND: Radiation therapy (RT) for a left-sided breast cancer often involves some incidental exposure of the heart and increase in the rate of major coronary events. One method to reduce the dose to the heart during a tangential breast irradiation is the deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) technique. Our department adopted DIBH for selected left breast cancer patients with a maximum cardiac distance ≥ 10 mm. We evaluated the effect of the DIBH on cardiac dose compared to normal free breathing (FB). The secondary objective of our present study was to use modeled risk estimates to quantify the risk of coronary events after RT with DIBH.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Thirty-two patients who underwent RT with DIBH at our hospital were retrospectively analyzed. For each patient, two computed tomography (CT) scans were acquired, FB-CT and DIBH-CT. Using a deformable image registration tool, the target volume was deformed from DIBH-CT to FB-CT, and conventional tangential treatment planning was performed, focusing on the equality of target coverage between the two plans. Doses to the heart, left anterior descending (LAD) artery, and ipsilateral lung were assessed.

RESULTS: By using DIBH, the average mean heart dose was reduced from 724.1 cGy to 279.3 (p < 0.001). The relative heart volume irradiated with 10 Gy-50 Gy was consistently reduced. The mean dose to the LAD coronary artery was reduced from 4079.1 cGy to 2368.9 cGy (p < 0.001). The ipsilateral lung volume receiving 20 Gy or more and 40 Gy or more was reduced by 2.2 % in both cases. Estimated risks of coronary events at 10 years were 4.03 and 2.55 % for RT with FB and DIBH, respectively (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The use of DIBH during RT of the left-sided breast considerably reduces the doses delivered to the heart and LAD artery with similar target coverage. For the current study patients, the probability of major coronary events was reduced with DIBH.

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