Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of moderate deep inspiration breathhold (mDIBH) in reducing heart exposure in left breast cancer patients who have unfavorable cardiac anatomy and need internal mammary lymph node (IMLN) radiation therapy (RT). Methods and materials: We used maximum heart distance (MHD), defined as the maximum distance of the heart within the treatment field, >1 cm as a surrogate for unfavorable cardiac anatomy. Twenty-two left breast cancer patients with unfavorable cardiac anatomy requiring IMLN-RT underwent free-breathing (FB) and mDIBH computed tomography simulation and planning. Three-dimensional partially wide tangents (3D-PWTs) and intensity modulated RT plans were generated. Dose-volume histograms were used to compare heart and lung dosimetric parameters. Duration of treatment delivery was recorded for all fractions. Results: MHD decreased significantly in mDIBH scans. mDIBH significantly reduced mean heart dose (222.7 vs 578.4 cGy; P < .0001) and percentage of left lung receiving doses ≥20 Gy (V20; 31.93 vs 38.41%; P = .0006) in both 3D-PWT and intensity modulated RT plans. The change in MHD after breathhold reliably predicted mean heart dose reduction after mDIBH. Radiation was effectively delivered in 11.31 ± 3.40 minutes with an average of 10.06 ± 2.74 breathholds per fraction. Conclusions: mDIBH is efficient and can effectively decrease mean heart dose in patients with unfavorable cardiac anatomy who need IMLN-RT, thus simplifying planning and delivery for them. The reduction in mean heart dose is proportional to the reduction in maximum heart distance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging