The potential use of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in women with pectus excavatum desiring breast-conserving therapy

Bin S. Teh, Hsin H. Lu, Sheila Sobremonte, David Bellezza, Joseph K. Chiu, L. Steve Carpenter, W. Sam Dennis, Shiao Y. Woo, Edward Brian Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) offers a better treatment plan compared to conventional radiotherapy for patients with pectus excavatum desiring breast-conserving therapy and to assess the feasibility of simultaneous modulated accelerated radiation therapy (SMART) boost. A patient with pectus excavatum desired breast-conserving therapy for her early stage breast cancer. She underwent lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection followed by chemotherapy. She was then referred for radiotherapy. A breast board (Med-Tec) with aquaplast body cast was used to limit the movement of the patient, chest wall, and breasts before planning a computed tomography (CT) scan. IMRT including dose-volume histogram (DVH) was compared to that of the conventional plan using parallel opposed tangential beams with a 15-degree wedge pair. Forty-five gray was prescribed to the whole breast to each plan, while 50 Gy was prescribed to the tumor bed using IMRT with SMART boost in 25 fractions over 5 weeks. The coverage of the whole breast was adequate for both plans. IMRT allowed a more homogeneous dose distribution within the breast at the desired dose range. With IMRT there is less volume of ipsilateral lung receiving the radiation dose that is above the tolerance threshold of 15 Gy when compared to that of the conventional plan. However, there is more volume of surrounding normal tissues (the heart, spinal cord, and contralateral breast and lung) receiving low-dose irradiation when IMRT was employed. SMART boost was feasible, allowing a mean dose of 57 Gy to be delivered to the tumor bed simultaneously along with the rest of the breast in 5 weeks. IMRT is feasible in treating early breast cancer patients with pectus excavatum by decreasing the ipsilateral lung volume receiving high-dose radiation when compared to the conventional method. SMART boost shortens the overall treatment time that may have potential radiobiological benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Breast-conserving therapy
  • Early stage breast cancer
  • Intensity modulated radiotherapy
  • Pectus excavatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology


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