Dosimetric Considerations in Respiratory-Gated Deep Inspiration Breath-Hold for Left Breast Irradiation

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Abstract

Purpose:

To present our clinical workflow of incorporating AlignRT for left breast deep inspiration breath-hold treatments and the dosimetric considerations with the deep inspiration breath-hold protocol.

Material and Methods:

Patients with stage I to III left-sided breast cancer who underwent lumpectomy or mastectomy were considered candidates for deep inspiration breath-hold technique for their external beam radiation therapy. Treatment plans were created on both free-breathing and deep inspiration breath-hold computed tomography for each patient to determine whether deep inspiration breath-hold was beneficial based on dosimetric comparison. The AlignRT system was used for patient setup and monitoring. Dosimetric measurements and their correlation with chest wall excursion and increase in left lung volume were studied for free-breathing and deep inspiration breath-hold plans.

Results:

Deep inspiration breath-hold plans had significantly increased chest wall excursion when compared with free breathing. This change in geometry resulted in reduced mean and maximum heart dose but did not impact lung V20 or mean dose. The correlation between chest wall excursion and absolute reduction in heart or lung dose was found to be nonsignificant, but correlation between left lung volume and heart dose showed a linear association. It was also identified that higher levels of chest wall excursion may paradoxically increase heart or lung dose.

Conclusion:

Reduction in heart dose can be achieved for many left-sided breast and chest wall patients using deep inspiration breath-hold. Chest wall excursion as well as left lung volume did not correlate with reduction in heart dose, and it remains to be determined what metric will provide the most optimal and reliable dosimetric advantage.

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