Six-year experience routinely using moderate deep inspiration breath-hold for the reduction of cardiac dose in left-sided breast irradiation for patients with early-stage or locally advanced breast cancer

Todd Swanson, Inga S. Grills, Hong Ye, Amy Entwistle, Melanie Teahan, Nicola Letts, Di Yan, Joana Duquette, Frank A. Vicini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations


PURPOSE:: Moderate deep inspiration breath-hold (mDIBH), using an Active Breathing Control device, has been used in our clinic since 2002 to reduce cardiac dose for patients receiving left-sided breast irradiation. We report our routine use of the mDIBH technique in clinically localized breast cancer, treated to the intact breast, reconstructed breast, or chest wall. MATERIALS AND METHODS:: Ninety-nine patients with left-sided breast cancer were evaluated for Active Breathing Control treatment, of which, 87 patients were treated with mDIBH. Plans for both the free-breathing (FB) and mDIBH computed tomography scans were evaluated. Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) were analyzed for the heart and ipsilateral lung, comparing results for mDIBH versus FB plans. RESULTS:: Eighty-seven patients were included for analysis. Of those, 66% received adjuvant chemotherapy with cardiotoxic agents. The mean dose for the whole breast was 47.6 Gy. There was a statistically significant decrease in all DVH parameters evaluated, favoring the delivery of mDIBH over FB plans. mDIBH plans significantly reduced cardiac mean dose (4.23 vs. 2.54 Gy; P<0.001), a relative reduction of 40%. In addition, there were significant reductions in all other heart parameters evaluated (ie, volume of heart treated, V30, V25, V20, V15, V10, and V5). mDIBH also significantly reduced lung dose, including a reduction of the left lung mean dose (9.08 vs. 7.86 Gy; P<0.001), a relative reduction of 13%, as well as significant reduction of all lung DVH parameters evaluated. CONCLUSIONS:: To date, this series represents the largest experience utilizing mDIBH to reduce cardiac irradiation during left-sided breast cancer treatment. Statistically significant reductions in all heart and lung DVH parameters were achieved with mDIBH over FB plans. mDIBH, for the treatment of left-sided breast cancer, is a proven technique for reducing cardiac dose that may lead to reduced cardiotoxicity and can be routinely integrated into the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013



  • breast cancer
  • breath-hold
  • intensity-modulated radiation therapy
  • radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this