Comparative Evaluation of Proton Therapy and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy for Brachial Plexus Sparing in the Comprehensive Reirradiation of High-Risk Recurrent Breast Cancer

J. Isabelle Choi, Beryl McCormick, Peter Park, Mark Millar, Katherine Walker, Chih Chun Tung, Sheng Huang, Peter Florio, Chin Cheng Chen, Alicia Lozano, Alexandra L. Hanlon, Jana Fox, Amy J. Xu, Melissa Zinovoy, Boris Mueller, Richard Bakst, Quincey LaPlant, Lior Z. Braunstein, Atif J. Khan, Simon N. PowellOren Cahlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Recurrent or new primary breast cancer requiring comprehensive regional nodal irradiation after prior radiation therapy (RT) to the supraclavicular area and upper axilla is challenging due to cumulative brachial plexus (BP) dose tolerance. We assessed BP dose sparing achieved with pencil beam scanning proton therapy (PBS-PT) and photon volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Methods and Materials: In an institutional review board–approved planning study, all patients with ipsilateral recurrent breast cancer treated with PBS-PT re-RT (PBT1) with at least partial BP overlap from prior photon RT were identified. Comparative VMAT plans (XRT1) using matched BP dose constraints were developed. A second pair of proton (PBT2) and VMAT (XRT2) plans using standardized target volumes were created, applying uniform prescription dose of 50.4 per 1.8 Gy and a maximum BP constraint <25 Gy. Incidence of brachial plexopathy was also assessed. Results: Ten consecutive patients were identified. Median time between RT courses was 48 months (15-276). Median first, second, and cumulative RT doses were 50.4 Gy (range, 42.6-60.0), 50.4 Gy relative biologic effectiveness (RBE) (45.0-64.4), and 102.4 Gy (RBE) (95.0-120.0), respectively. Median follow-up was 15 months (5-33) and 18 months for living patients (11-33) Mean BP max was 37.5 Gy (RBE) for PBT1 and 36.9 Gy for XRT1. Target volume coverage of V85% (volume receiving 85% of prescription dose), V90%, and V95% were numerically lower for XRT1 versus PBT1. Similarly, axilla I-III and supraclavicular area coverage were significantly higher for PBT2 than XRT2 at dose levels of V55%, V65%, V75%, V85%, and V95%. Only axilla I V55% did not reach significance (P = .06) favoring PBS-PT. Two patients with high cumulative BPmax (95.2 Gy [RBE], 101.6 Gy [RBE]) developed brachial plexopathy symptoms with ulnar nerve distribution neuropathy without pain or weakness (1 of 2 had symptom resolution after 6 months without intervention). Conclusions: PBS-PT improved BP sparing and target volume coverage versus VMAT. For patients requiring comprehensive re-RT for high-risk, nonmetastatic breast cancer recurrence with BP overlap and reasonable expectation for prolonged life expectancy, PBT may be the preferred treatment modality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101355
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative Evaluation of Proton Therapy and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy for Brachial Plexus Sparing in the Comprehensive Reirradiation of High-Risk Recurrent Breast Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this