Purpose: Limiting the heart dose in left sided breast cancer radiotherapy is critical. We sought to study the effect of using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) as an aid in reducing heart dose in breast cancer radiotherapy. Methods: Patients with left sided breast cancer receiving adjuvant radiotherapy were enrolled on a prospective IRB (institutional review board) approved clinical trial utilizing CPAP during radiotherapy. Each patient was simulated and planned with and without CPAP and the best dosimetric results determined the patient's treatment. Data on the differences in lung and heart volume and position as well as boost cavity position with and without CPAP were analyzed. Results: Twenty-four women from 10/16 to 10/18 were enrolled. Seven patients were not treated on study; only two of these were due to treatment issues. Median age was 54 years. 70% had breast only radiation and 30% were treated to breast\CW (chest wall) and regional nodes. The median lung volume with CPAP was 60% larger than without CPAP. (1637 vs. 996 cc) p < 0.001. The median heart volume decreased 12% with CPAP. (338 vs. 382 cc) In regards to the DVH, CPAP decreased mean heart dose from 3.02 to 1.6Gy (p =.0075) and V20 of the lungs from 17.1 to 13.8 with CPAP but this was not significant. Conclusion: CPAP assisted radiotherapy was tolerable and produced superior treatment plans in left sided breast cancer. This method is worthy of further investigation as a method to normal tissue sparing treatment of left sided breast cancer patients.
- Breast Cancer
- Cardiac toxicity