Intrafractional target motions and uncertainties of treatment setup reference systems in accelerated partial breast irradiation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics








Accelerated partial breast irradiation; APBI; Breast cancer; Intrafractional motion


Purpose: This study investigated the magnitude of intrafractional motion and level of accuracy of various setup strategies in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using three-dimensional conformal external beam radiotherapy. Methods and Materials: At lumpectomy, gold fiducial markers were strategically sutured to the surrounding walls of the cavity. Weekly fluoroscopy imaging was conducted at treatment to investigate the respiration-induced target motions. Daily pre- and post-RT kV imaging was performed, and images were matched to digitally reconstructed radiographs based on bony anatomy and fiducial markers, respectively, to determine the intrafractional motion magnitudes over the course of treatment. The positioning differences of the laser tattoo- and the bony anatomy-based setups compared with those of the marker-based setup (benchmark) were also determined. The study included 21 patients. Results: Although lung exhibited significant motion, the average marker motion amplitude on the fluoroscopic image was about 1 mm. Over a typical treatment time period, average intrafractional motion magnitude was 4.2 mm and 2.6 mm based on the marker and bony anatomy matching, respectively. The bony anatomy- and laser tattoo-based interfractional setup errors, with respect to the fiducial marker-based setup, were 7.1 and 9.0 mm, respectively. Conclusions: Respiration has limited effects on the target motion during APBI. Bony anatomy-based treatment setup improves the accuracy relative to that of the laser tattoo-based setup approach. Since fiducial markers are sutured directly to the surgical cavity, the marker-based approach can further improve the interfractional setup accuracy. On average, a seroma cavity exhibits intrafractional motion of more than 4 mm, a magnitude that is larger than that which is otherwise derived based on bony anatomy matching. A seroma-specific marker-based approach has the potential to improve treatment accuracy by taking the true inter- and intrafractional motions into consideration. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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