Adaptive radiation therapy of breast cancer by repeated imaging during irradiation

World J Radiol. 2020 May 28;12(5):68-75. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v12.i5.68.


Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among females and also a leading cause of cancer related mortality worldwide. A multimodality treatment approach may be utilized for optimal management of patients with combinations of surgery, radiation therapy (RT) and systemic treatment. RT composes an integral part of breast conserving treatment, and is typically used after breast conserving surgery to improve local control. Recent years have witnessed significant improvements in the discipline of radiation oncology which allow for more focused and precise treatment delivery. Adaptive radiation therapy (ART) is among the most important RT techniques which may be utilized for redesigning of treatment plans to account for dynamic changes in tumor size and anatomy during the course of irradiation. In the context of breast cancer, ART may serve as an excellent tool for patients receiving breast irradiation followed by a sequential boost to the tumor bed. Primary benefits of ART include more precise boost localization and potential for improved normal tissue sparing with adapted boost target volumes particularly in the setting of seroma reduction during the course of irradiation. Herein, we provide a concise review of ART for breast cancer in light of the literature.

Keywords: Adaptive radiation therapy; Breast cancer; Computed tomography; Imaging; Replanning; Tumor bed boost.

Publication types

  • Review