Patterns of intrafractional motion and uncertainties of treatment setup reference systems in accelerated partial breast irradiation for right- and left-sided breast cancer

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Practical Radiation Oncology








Purpose: This study investigated the patterns of intrafractional motion and accuracy of treatment setup strategies in 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for right- and left-sided breast cancers. Methods and Materials: Sixteen right-sided and 17 left-sided breast cancer patients were enrolled in an institutional APBI trial in which gold fiducial markers were strategically sutured to the surgical cavity walls. Daily pre- and postradiation therapy kV imaging were performed and were matched to digitally reconstructed radiographs based on bony anatomy and fiducial markers, respectively, to determine the intrafractional motion. The positioning differences of the laser-tattoo and the bony anatomy-based setups with respect to the marker-based setup (benchmark) were determined to evaluate their accuracy. Results: Statistical differences were found between the right- and left-sided APBI treatments in vector directions of intrafractional motion and treatment setup errors in the reference systems, but less in their overall magnitudes. The directional difference was more pronounced in the lateral direction. It was found that the intrafractional motion and setup reference systems tended to deviate in the right direction for the right-sided breast treatments and in the left direction for the left-sided breast treatments. Conclusions: It appears that the fiducial markers placed in the seroma cavity exhibit side dependent directional intrafractional motion, although additional data may be needed to further validate the conclusion. The bony anatomy-based treatment setup improves the accuracy over laser-tattoo. But it is inadequate to rely on bony anatomy to assess intrafractional target motion in both magnitude and direction. © 2014 American Society for Radiation Oncology.

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