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Volume 13, Number 5, 2008

CT-image based conformal high-doserate brachytherapy boost in the conservative treatment of stage I – II breast cancer – introducing the procedure

Magda Kubaszewska, Magdalena Dymnicka, Adam Chicheł, Marek Kanikowski, Janusz Skowronek


Aim: Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) followed by radiotherapy (RT) has become the standard treatment for the majority of patients with early breast cancer. With regard to boost technique some disagreements are found between groups that are emphasizing the value of electron boost treatment and groups pointing out the value of interstitial brachytherapy (BT) boost treatment. We present the preliminary results in treating selected patients with early-stage breast cancer using high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HD R-BT) as a boost after breast conservation therapy (BCT ).
Materials/Methods: Between January 2006 and August 2007, a total of 58 female patients with
first and second stage breast cancer underwent BCT. This therapeutic procedure involves BCS, whole breast radiation therapy (WBRT) and additional irradiation to the tumour bed (boost) using interstitial HDR-BT via flexible implant tubes. A 10 Gy boost dose was received by all patients. The treatment planning was based on CT-guided 3D (three-dimensional) reconstruction of the surgical clips, implant tubes and critical structures localization (skin and ribs). The accuracy of tumour bed localization, the conformity of planning target volume and treated volume were analyzed.
Results: The evaluations of implant parameters involved the use of: dose volume histogram (DVH), the volume encompassed by the 100% reference isodose surface (V100%), the high dose volume calculation (V150%, V200%, V300%), the dose non-uniformity ratio (DNR), and the conformity index (COIN). Our results were as follows: the mean PTV volume, the mean high dose volume (V150%; V200%; V300%), the DNR and COIN mean value were estimated at 57.38, 42.98, 21.38, 7.90, 0.52 and 0.83 respectively.
Conclusions: CT-guided 3D HDR-BT is most appropriate for planning the boost procedure after BT especially in large breast volume, in cases with a deep seated tumour bed, as well as in patients with high risk for local recurrences. This technique reduces the possibility of geographical miss. Moreover, better conformity could be achieved between planning the target volume and the treated volume, even at the cost of worse dose homogeneity. The irregular 3D shape of the target volume and the normal tissue structures can be correctly localized on the basis of visual information obtained from cross-sectional CT imaging. Better local control rate with fewer side effects might be achieved with this technique based on CT imaging.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2008; 13(5) : 227-239


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