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Volume 17, Number 4, 2012

Accelerated partial breast irradiation using external beam radiotherapy—A feasibility study based on dosimetric analysis

Surega Anbumani, Siddanna R. Palled, Girish S. Prabhakar, N. Arunai Nambiraj, Anchineyan Pichandi



To investigate the feasibility of using External Beam radiotherapy for accelerated partial breast irradiation by a comparative tumour and normal tissue dose volume analysis with that of high dose rate interstitial brachytherapy.


Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) is more clinically appealing because of the reduced treatment course duration and the irradiated area. Brachytherapy application is more dependent on the clinician's expertise when it is practised free hand without image guidance and a template. It happens to be an invasive procedure with the use of local anaesthesia which adds patient discomfort apart from its cost compared to External Beam Radiotherapy. But APBI with brachytherapy is more commonly practised procedure compared to EBRT owing to its previous reults. Hence in this research study, we intend to explore the use of EBRT with the radiobiological corrections for APBI in the place of brachytherapy. It is done as a dosimetric comparison of Brachytherapy treatment plans with that of EBRT plans.

Materials and methods

The computed tomography images of 15 patients undergoing ISBT planning were simulated with conformal photon fields. Various dose volume parameters of each structure were obtained from the DVH generated in the brachytherapy and the simulated external beam planning which can correlate well with the late toxicity. The plan quality indices such as conformity index and homogeneity index for the target volume were computed from the dosimetric factors. The statistical p values for CI, HI and normal tissue dosimetric parameters were calculated and the confidence levels achievable were analysed. The dose prescribed in brachytherapy was 3400cGy in ten fractions. The equivalent prescription dose for the external beam radiotherapy planning was 3000cGy in five fractions applied with radiobiological correction.


All the fifteen patients were with complete lung data and six were with left sided tumours having complete cardiac data. The lung dosimetry data and the cardiac dosimetry data of the patients were studied. Lower percentages of lung and cardiac V20 and V5 volumes were obtained with conformal planning. The conformity of radiation dose to the tumour volume was akin to the interstitial brachytherapy planning. Moreover the external beam planning resulted in more homogenous dose distribution. For the sampled population, the statistical analysis showed a confidence level of 95% for using EBRT as an alternate to multi catheter ISBT.


The EBRT planning for Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation was found to be technically feasible in the institution where the interstitial brachytherapy happens to be the only available technique as evident from the dose volume parameters and the statistical analysis.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2012; 17(4) : 200-206

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