Dosimetric Comparison of Radiation Techniques for Comprehensive Regional Nodal Radiation Therapy for Left-Sided Breast Cancer: A Treatment Planning Study

Heejoo Ko, Jee Suk Chang, Jin Young Moon, Won Hee Lee, Chirag Shah, Jin Sup Shim, Min Cheol Han, Jong Geol Baek, Ryeong Hwang Park, Yong Bae Kim, Jin Sung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: How modern cardiac sparing techniques and beam delivery systems using advanced x-ray and proton beam therapy (PBT) can reduce incidental radiation exposure doses to cardiac and pulmonary organs individually or in any combination is poorly investigated. Methods: Among 15 patients with left-sided breast cancer, partial wide tangential 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) delivered in conventional fractionation (CF) or hypofractionated (HF) schedules; PBT delivered in a CF schedule; and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) delivered in an HF schedule, each under continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and free-breathing (FB) conditions, were examined. Target volume coverage and doses to organs-at-risk (OARs) were calculated for each technique. Outcomes were compared with one-way analysis of variance and the Bonferroni test, with p-values <0.05 considered significant. Results: Target volume coverage was within acceptable levels in all interventions, except for the internal mammary lymph node D95 (99% in PBT, 90% in VMAT-CPAP, 84% in VMAT-FB, and 74% in 3DCRT). The mean heart dose (MHD) was the lowest in PBT (<1 Gy) and VMAT-CPAP (2.2 Gy) and the highest in 3DCRT with CF/FB (7.8 Gy), respectively. The mean lung dose (MLD) was the highest in 3DCRT-CF-FB (20 Gy) and the lowest in both VMAT-HF-CPAP and PBT (approximately 5–6 Gy). VMAT-HF-CPAP and PBT delivered a comparable maximum dose to the left ascending artery (7.2 and 6.13 Gy, respectively). Conclusions: Both proton and VMAT in combination with CPAP can minimize the radiation exposure to heart and lung with optimal target coverage in regional RT for left-sided breast cancer. The clinical relevance of these differences is yet to be elucidated. Continued efforts are needed to minimize radiation exposures during RT treatment to maximize its therapeutic index.

Original languageEnglish
Article number645328
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (2020R1A4A1016619).

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Ko, Chang, Moon, Lee, Shah, Shim, Han, Baek, Park, Kim and Kim.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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