Irradiation of the supraclavicular fossa is commonly used as part of adjuvant breast radiotherapy. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) may be used to target this region accurately, and there are subgroups of patients that may benefit more from IMRT than others. We identify the benefit of IMRT over fixed-depth dose prescription to the supraclavicular fossa in patients of different builds in a clinical setting.
Fifteen patients who received radiotherapy to the left breast and supraclavicular fossa were selected. Computed tomographic planning was used to generate plans for supraclavicular fossa coverage. Dose prescription to 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm depths was compared with IMRT plans. Coverage of the planning target volume and dose to the organs at risk were compared and correlated with patient body mass index (BMI) and computed tomography measurements.
Within the IMRT group, increasing depth of the supraclavicular fossa produced significantly better coverage of the planning target volume with IMRT. IMRT resulted in lower mean doses to the brachial plexus ( P = 0.00) when compared with 1.5 cm and 3 cm depth dose prescriptions, but higher maximum brachial plexus doses. IMRT was more beneficial in patients with lower BMI because this resulted in a decreased maximum brachial plexus dose ( P-values of 0.03 and 0.001 when compared with 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm depth dose prescriptions, respectively). Higher patient BMI resulted in a lower dose contribution of IMRT to the cord ( P-values 0.066 and 0.034 when compared with 1.5 cm and 3.0 cm depth dose prescriptions respectively).