Radiation dose distribution in coronary arteries in breast cancer radiotherapy.

Research paper by Greger G Nilsson, Petra P Witt Nyström, Ulf U Isacsson, Hans H Garmo, Olov O Duvernoy, Iwar I Sjögren, Bo B Lagerqvist, Lars L Holmberg, Carl C Blomqvist

Indexed on: 28 May '16Published on: 28 May '16Published in: Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)


Women irradiated for left-sided breast cancer (BC) have an increased risk of coronary artery disease compared to women with right-sided BC. We describe the distribution of radiation dose in segments of coronary arteries in women receiving adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) for left- or right-sided BC.Fifteen women with BC, seven left-sided and eight right-sided, who had received three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT), constituted the study base. The heart and the segments of the coronary arteries were defined as separate organs at risk (OAR), and the mean and maximum radiation doses were calculated for each OAR.In women with left-sided BC, irrespective of if regional lymph node RT was given or not, maximum dose in mid and distal left anterior descending artery (mdLAD) was approximately 50 Gy in 6/7 patients, whereas women with right-sided BC mainly received low doses of radiation. In women with left-sided BC, 6/7 patients had substantially higher mean dose to the distal LAD than to the heart, ranging from 30 to 55 Gy and 3 to13 Gy, respectively.We found a pronounced difference of radiation dose distribution in the coronary arteries between women with left- and right-sided BC. Women with left-sided BC had almost full treatment dose in parts of mdLAD, regardless of if regional lymph node irradiation was given or not, while women with right-sided BC mainly received low doses to the coronary arteries.

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