Decreasing radiotoxicity to the heart, lungs, and contralateral breast has proven to lower the risk of secondary malignancy and improve overall outcomes when treating chest wall (CW) and regional lymph nodes in postmastectomy breast cancer patients. In this retrospective study, 11 postmastectomy patients were selected and planned with a novel hybrid treatment method and a traditional volumetric arc therapy (VMAT) approach for comparison. This hybrid technique was able to optimize tangential beams to minimize heart dose and the VMAT contribution to improve dose conformity around the planning target volume (PTV). Overall, this hybrid technique produced more homogenous target dose coverage and demonstrated a decrease of integral dose to organs at risk (OAR), while the VMAT technique demonstrated a higher affinity for maintaining dose conformity. Further observation of dose distributions also revealed that the hybrid plans were more effective in sparing low-dose spread to healthy tissue in both right- and left-sided cases. This observation was made evident by the reduction in heart V5 and Dmean, decreases in all parameters regarding the contralateral lung, as well as all values other than the V20 of the ipsilateral lung. This unique hybrid planning technique could present an alternative to standard intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) planning when treating postmastectomy CW and regional lymph nodes, as it has shown the capacity to decrease cardiac, lung, and contralateral breast toxicity while maintaining quality PTV coverage.
- Breast cancer
- Chest wall irradiation
- Internal mammary lymph nodes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging