Postoperative proton radiotherapy for localized and locoregional breast cancer: potential for clinically relevant improvements?

Center for Proton Therapy, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Impact Factor: 4.59). 08/2009; 76(3):685-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.02.062
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study the potential reduction of dose to organs at risk (OARs) with intensity-modulated proton radiotherapy (IMPT) compared with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) photon radiotherapy for left-sided breast cancer patients.
Comparative treatment-planning was performed using planning computed tomography scans of 20 left-sided breast cancer patients. For each patient, three increasingly complex locoregional volumes (planning target volumes [PTVs]) were defined: whole breast (WB) or chest wall (CW) = (PTV1), WB/CW plus medial-supraclavicular (MSC), lateral-supraclavicular (LSC), and level III axillary (AxIII) nodes = (PTV2) and WB/CW+MSC+LSC+AxIII plus internal mammary chain = (PTV3). For each patient, 3D-CRT, IMRT, and IMPT plans were optimized for PTV coverage. Dose to OARs was compared while maintaining target coverage.
All the techniques met the required PTV coverage except the 3D-CRT plans for PTV3-scenario. All 3D-CRT plans for PTV3 exceeded left-lung V20. IMPT vs. 3D-CRT: significant dose reductions were observed for all OARs using IMPT for all PTVs. IMPT vs. IMRT: For PTV2 and PTV3, low (V5) left lung and cardiac doses were reduced by a factor >2.5, and cardiac doses (V22.5) were by a factor of >20 lower with IMPT compared with IMRT.
When complex-target irradiation is needed, 3D-CRT often compromises the target coverage and increases the dose to OARs; IMRT can provide better results but will increase the integral dose. The benefit of IMPT is based on improved target coverage and reduction of low doses to OARs, potentially reducing the risk of late-toxicity. These results indicate a potential role of proton-radiotherapy for extended locoregional irradiation in left breast cancer.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The delivery of post-mastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT) can be challenging for patients with left sided breast cancer that have undergone mastectomy. This study investigates the use of protons for PMRT in selected patients with unfavorable cardiac anatomy. We also report the first clinical application of protons for these patients.Methods and materials: Eleven patients were planned with protons, partially wide tangent photon fields (PWTF), and photon/electron (P/E) fields. Plans were generated with the goal of achieving 95% coverage of target volumes while maximally sparing cardiac and pulmonary structures. In addition, we report on two patients with unfavorable cardiac anatomy and IMN involvement that were treated with a mix of proton and standard radiation. RESULTS: PWTF, P/E, and proton plans were generated and compared. Reasonable target volume coverage was achieved with PWTF and P/E fields, but proton therapy achieved superior coverage with a more homogeneous plan. Substantial cardiac and pulmonary sparing was achieved with proton therapy as compared to PWTF and P/E. In the two clinical cases, the delivery of proton radiation with a 7.2 to 9 Gy photon and electron component was feasible and well tolerated. Akimbo positioning was necessary for gantry clearance for one patient; the other was treated on a breast board with standard positioning (arms above her head). LAO field arrangement was used for both patients. Erythema and fatigue were the only noted side effects. CONCLUSIONS: Proton RT enables delivery of radiation to the chest wall and regional lymphatics, including the IMN, without compromise of coverage and with improved sparing of surrounding normal structures. This treatment is feasible, however, optimal patient set up may vary and field size is limited without multiple fields/matching.
    Radiation Oncology 03/2013; 8(1):71. · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Delivery of post-mastectomy radiation (PMRT) in women with bilateral implants represents a technical challenge, particularly when attempting to cover regional lymph nodes. Intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) holds the potential to improve dose delivery and spare non-target tissues. The purpose of this study was to compare IMPT to three-dimensional (3D) conformal radiation following bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten IMPT, 3D conformal photon/electron (P/E), and 3D photon (wide tangent) plans were created for 5 patients with breast cancer, all of whom had bilateral breast implants. Using RTOG guidelines, a physician delineated contours for both target volumes and organs-at-risk. Plans were designed to achieve 95% coverage of all targets (chest wall, IMN, SCV, axilla) to a dose of 50.4Gy or Gy (RBE) while maximally sparing organs-at-risk. RESULTS: IMPT plans conferred similar target volume coverage with enhanced homogeneity. Both mean heart and lung doses using IMPT were significantly decreased compared to both P/E and wide tangent planning. CONCLUSIONS: IMPT provides improved homogeneity to the chest wall and regional lymphatics in the post-mastectomy setting with improved sparing of surrounding normal structures for woman with reconstructed breasts. IMPT may enable women with mastectomy to undergo radiation therapy without the need for delay in breast reconstruction.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 05/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer radiotherapy represents an essential component in the overall management of both early stage and locally advanced breast cancer. As the number of breast cancer survivors has increased, chronic sequelae of breast cancer radiotherapy become more important. While recently published data suggest a potential for an increase in cardiac events with radiotherapy, these studies do not consider the impact of newer radiotherapy techniques commonly utilized. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to evaluate cardiac dose sparing techniques in breast cancer radiotherapy. Current options for cardiac protection/avoidance include (1) maneuvers that displace the heart from the field such as coordinating the breathing cycle or through prone patient positioning, (2) technological advances such as intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or proton beam therapy (PBT), and (3) techniques that treat a smaller volume around the lumpectomy cavity such as accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), or intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT). While these techniques have shown promise dosimetrically, limited data on late cardiac events exist due to the difficulties of long-term follow up. Future studies are required to validate the efficacy of cardiac dose sparing techniques and may use surrogates for cardiac events such as biomarkers or perfusion imaging.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 05/2014; · 4.52 Impact Factor