Purpose To describe early clinical results of tomotherapy treatment in patients with breast cancer and complex treatment volumes.
Methods and materials Ten patients were treated with tomotherapy between January 2009 and March 2010. Treatment planning objectives were to cover at least 95% of the planning target volume with the 95% isodose; to have a minimum dose of 90% and a maximum dose of 105%. All treatments included daily CT/megavoltage image guidance. Acute toxicity was recorded weekly.
Results Six patients were treated because constraints were not accomplished for heart, lung or contralateral breast in a previous three-dimensional conformal plan; two for preexisting cardiac or pulmonary disease, and two more for bilateral breast irradiation. Treatment volumes included the whole breast in the majority of patients, as well as the supraclavicular and the internal mammary chain nodes when indicated. Most patients were older than 50 years, and had an early breast cancer, with positive oestrogen receptors, negative HER2 expression and a poorly differentiated, infiltrating ductal carcinoma. The majority of patients had received neoadjuvant chemotherapy associated to breastconserving surgery and adjuvant hormonotherapy. Median homogeneity index was 1.09; median coverage index was 0.81. Median V20Gy and V10Gy for ipsilateral lung was 20% and 37.1% respectively. Median V25 and V35 for heart was 15% and 4% respectively. Median dose for contralateral breast was 7 Gy. Skin acute toxicity was grade 1 in 41.7% and grade 2 in 58.3%.
Conclusion Tomotherapy is a technique capable of delivering a well tolerated treatment with high homogeneity and coverage indexes and high capabilities for sparing the organs at risk in patients with anatomically complex breast cancer, bilateral breast cancer, indication for internal mammary chain node irradiation, cardiac toxicity derived from chemotherapy, or preexisting cardiac or pulmonary disease. Further studies are required to evaluate local control and late toxicity.