Assessing the Need for Adjusted Organ-at-Risk Planning Goals for Patients Undergoing Adjuvant Radiation Therapy for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer with Proton Radiation

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Cristina M DeCesaris, Ariel Pollock, Baoshe Zhang, Yannick Poirier, Emily Kowalski, Kayla Paulosky, Mark V Mishra, Elizabeth Nichols


Purpose: Locally advanced breast cancer requires surgical management via lumpectomy or mastectomy with or without systemic therapy followed by chest wall or breast (CW) and comprehensive nodal irradiation (CNI). Radiation (RT) dose constraints for the heart and ipsilateral lung have been developed based on photon RT. Proton therapy (PBT) can deliver significantly lower doses of RT to these organs-at-risk (OARs) and may warrant adjustments to OAR planning goals.

Methods and materials: The RT plans of consecutive patients undergoing adjuvant CW-CNI RT with PBT within a single center were reviewed. A inital treatment volume, comprised of CW/intact breast + CNI (CTV_init) structure, including the CW and CNI but excluding any boost plans was analyzed. Frequency distributions were generated based on doses received by the heart, lungs, and esophagus for validated dosimetric parameters. Frequency distributions were generated and then stratified by laterality and compared using the Kruskal-Wallis H test. The 75th, 85th, and 95th percentiles for each dosimetric parameter were calculated, overall and by laterality. The 75th percentile (Q3), was used as a suggested primary goal, and the 95th percentile was used as a suggested secondary goal.

Results: One hundred and seventy-two plans were analyzed. Forty-nine plans were right-sided, 107 were left-sided, and 16 were bilateral. The overall Q3 of the mean and V25 of the heart were 1.5 Gy and 1.7%, respectively. The mean and V25 to the heart differed significantly by laterality. Pulmonary values were similar to current recommendations. For all lateralites, the median volume of the esophagus receiving 70% prescription dose was ≤1 cm3.

Conclusions: We present the first dosimetric study providing complete OAR dose-volume histograms data for patients undergoing adjuvant pencil-beam scanning-PBT for locally advanced breast cancer, with detailed information on central tendencies, ranges and distributions of data. We have provided suggested planning goals and metrics for the lungs, heart, and esophagus; the latter 2 differing significantly from current Quantitative Analysis of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (QUANTEC) constraints and classical photon goals.