Deep Inspiration Breath Hold-Based Radiation Therapy: A Clinical Review

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 Mar 1;94(3):478-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.11.049. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Several recent developments in linear accelerator-based radiation therapy (RT) such as fast multileaf collimators, accelerated intensity modulation paradigms like volumeric modulated arc therapy and flattening filter-free (FFF) high-dose-rate therapy have dramatically shortened the duration of treatment fractions. Deliverable photon dose distributions have approached physical complexity limits as a consequence of precise dose calculation algorithms and online 3-dimensional image guided patient positioning (image guided RT). Simultaneously, beam quality and treatment speed have continuously been improved in particle beam therapy, especially for scanned particle beams. Applying complex treatment plans with steep dose gradients requires strategies to mitigate and compensate for motion effects in general, particularly breathing motion. Intrafractional breathing-related motion results in uncertainties in dose delivery and thus in target coverage. As a consequence, generous margins have been used, which, in turn, increases exposure to organs at risk. Particle therapy, particularly with scanned beams, poses additional problems such as interplay effects and range uncertainties. Among advanced strategies to compensate breathing motion such as beam gating and tracking, deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) gating is particularly advantageous in several respects, not only for hypofractionated, high single-dose stereotactic body RT of lung, liver, and upper abdominal lesions but also for normofractionated treatment of thoracic tumors such as lung cancer, mediastinal lymphomas, and breast cancer. This review provides an in-depth discussion of the rationale and technical implementation of DIBH gating for hypofractionated and normofractionated RT of intrathoracic and upper abdominal tumors in photon and proton RT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breath Holding*
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Heart / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Inhalation*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Lung / radiation effects
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Proton Therapy / methods
  • Radiation Dose Hypofractionation
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiography
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods*
  • Respiration
  • Unilateral Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy