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Can radiographic plain film be used to determine the depth of the tumour bed in the absence of surgical clips for breast boost planning

Authors
Journal
Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal
1823-5530
Publisher
"Department of Biomedical Imaging, University of Malaya"
Publication Date
Volume
5
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2349/biij.5.3.e11
Keywords
  • Original Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Purpose A number of studies have demonstrated the importance of using surgical clips to define the tumour bed in breast boost radiotherapy. In the absence of such clips, other techniques suggested to improve boost location have included CT and ultrasound (US). Determination of the depth of the tumour bed is important in the selection of electron energy. This study was conducted to prospectively compare the depth of the lumpectomy cavity as defined by ultrasound to radiographic plain film evaluation of the anterior border of the pectoralis muscle. Materials and Methods Forty-one breast-cancer patients treated at the Division of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University between December 2004 and December 2006 were prospectively identified as having no surgical clips within the lumpectomy cavity. All patients underwent both US evaluation of the depth of tumour bed (D1) and radiographic evaluation of the depth of the anterior border of the pectoralis muscle (D2). These depth dimensions (D1 and D2) were compared using a paired t-test. The correlation of both methods was analyzed by Pearson correlation test. Results Depth dimensions by US were shorter than the radiographic film method in 85% of patients. The absolute mean difference of the depth (radiographic films minus US) was 0.129 cm. A paired t-test demonstrated that the difference between these two methods to be not statistically significant (p= 0.27). The absolute difference of depth between the two methods ranged from 0 to 0.5 cm. A significant correlation was found between US and radiographic film measurements (p<0.01). Conclusion Plane radiographic film evaluation of the anterior border of the pectoralis muscle can be used to define the depth of the tumour bed in patients who have no surgical clips. However, the plane radiographic film method determines only the depth, not the transverse and longitudinal dimensions of the tumour bed. Additional information from US is needed to delineate the target volume for the tumour bed boost. In the absence of surgical clips, the authors recommend integration of both methods in breast boost planning process.

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