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Body mass index and patient CT measurements as a predictor of benefit of intensity-modulated radiotherapy to the supraclavicular fossa

Authors Koh V, Tang JI, Choo BA, Tan CW, Lim BK, Shen L, Lu JJ

Received 13 June 2013

Accepted for publication 26 July 2013

Published 21 November 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 1701—1706


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Vicky Koh,1 Johann I Tang,1 Bok Ai Choo,1 Chek Wee Tan,1 Boon Keat Lim,2 Liang Shen,3 Jiade Jay Lu1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore; 2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore; 3Department of Biostatistics, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Background: Irradiation of the supraclavicular fossa is commonly used as part of adjuvant breast radiotherapy. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) may be used to target this region accurately, and there are subgroups of patients that may benefit more from IMRT than others. We identify the benefit of IMRT over fixed-depth dose prescription to the supraclavicular fossa in patients of different builds in a clinical setting.
Methods: Fifteen patients who received radiotherapy to the left breast and supraclavicular fossa were selected. Computed tomographic planning was used to generate plans for supraclavicular fossa coverage. Dose prescription to 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm depths was compared with IMRT plans. Coverage of the planning target volume and dose to the organs at risk were compared and correlated with patient body mass index (BMI) and computed tomography measurements.
Results: Within the IMRT group, increasing depth of the supraclavicular fossa produced significantly better coverage of the planning target volume with IMRT. IMRT resulted in lower mean doses to the brachial plexus (P = 0.00) when compared with 1.5 cm and 3 cm depth dose prescriptions, but higher maximum brachial plexus doses. IMRT was more beneficial in patients with lower BMI because this resulted in a decreased maximum brachial plexus dose (P-values of 0.03 and 0.001 when compared with 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm depth dose prescriptions, respectively). Higher patient BMI resulted in a lower dose contribution of IMRT to the cord (P-values 0.066 and 0.034 when compared with 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm depth dose prescriptions respectively).
Conclusion: IMRT of the supraclavicular fossa results in lower brachial plexus doses for patients with low BMI while patients with higher BMI benefit from lower mean cord doses. IMRT provides superior coverage of the planning target volume, especially in patients with a deeper supraclavicular fossa.

Keywords: intensity-modulated radiotherapy, radiotherapy, breast cancer, supraclavicular fossa

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