Prospective assessment of deep inspiration breath-hold using 3-dimensional surface tracking for irradiation of left-sided breast cancer

Pract Radiat Oncol. 2015 Nov-Dec;5(6):358-65. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2015.06.002. Epub 2015 Jul 28.


Purpose: Deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) is used to decrease cardiac irradiation during radiation therapy (RT) for breast cancer. The patients most likely to benefit and the impact on treatment time remain largely unknown. We sought to identify predictors for the use of DIBH and to quantify differences in dosimetry and treatment time using a prospective registry.

Methods and materials: A total of 150 patients with left breast cancer were enrolled. All patients were simulated with both free breathing (FB) and DIBH. RT was delivered by either modality. Alternate scans were planned with use of deformable registration to include identical RT volumes. DIBH patients were monitored by a real-time surface tracking system, AlignRT (Vision RT, Ltd, London, United Kingdom). Baseline characteristics and treatment times were compared by Fisher exact test and Wilcoxon rank sum test. Dosimetric endpoints were analyzed by Wilcoxon signed rank test, and linear regression identified predictors for change in mean heart dose (∆MHD).

Results: We treated 38 patients with FB and 110 with DIBH. FB patients were older, more likely to have heart and lung disease, and less likely to receive chemotherapy or immediate reconstruction (all P < .05). Treatment times were not significantly different, but DIBH patients had greater variability in times (P = .0002). Of 146 evaluable patients, DIBH resulted in >20 cGy improvement in MHD in 107 patients but a >20 cGy increase in MHD in 14. Both MHD and lung V20 were significantly lower in DIBH than in paired FB plans. On multivariate analysis, younger age (4.18 cGy per year; P < .0001), higher body mass index (6.06 cGy/kg/m(2); P = .0018), and greater change in lung volumes (130 cGy/L; P = .003) were associated with greater ∆MHD.

Conclusions: DIBH improves cardiac dosimetry without significantly impacting treatment time in most patients. Greater inspiratory lung volumes augment this benefit. Because the improvement with DIBH was not uniform, patients should be scanned with both FB and DIBH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breath Holding*
  • Female
  • Heart / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Inhalation
  • Lung / radiation effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Organs at Risk / radiation effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tumor Burden
  • Unilateral Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy*