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Breathing during radiotherapy - how to hit the treatment target without causing collateral damage
Date:5/11/2012

Barcelona, Spain: Respiratory movement during radiotherapy makes it difficult to hit the right treatment target and this in turn can lead to an under-dose of radiation to the tumour, or a potentially toxic over-dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. Getting this right is a real challenge for the radiotherapist, but new techniques are helping to deliver the correct dose to the right place, the 31st conference of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO 31) [1] will hear today (Saturday).

Dr. Amira Ziouche, a radiotherapy specialist from the Centre Lon Brard, Lyon, France, will describe to the conference how the technique of Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) can spare the heart when irradiating left-side breast cancer tumours. In a prospective study, undertaken while she was working with Dr. Alice Mege at the Institut Sainte Catherine, Avignon, France, she showed that treating patients during DIBH, while they were holding their breath at between 60% to 80% of their maximum inspiratory (breathing-in) capacity, could spare their hearts and lungs from radiation without compromising the quality of their treatment.

"Unlike treatment under free breathing (FB), where the patient breathes normally, DIBH spares the heart by reducing its volume and movement in the field to be irradiated, and the lung expansion involved in holding breath leads to a decrease of relative lung volume which is irradiated," Dr. Ziouche will explain. "In effect, we can largely eliminate the problem of respiratory movement by using this technique, which allows us to reduce the volume of the healthy organ irradiated around the target volume while improving treatment precision. This is particularly important in breast cancer cases, where the life expectancy of most patients is long."

Dr. Ziouche and colleagues collected data on 31 patients treated with DIBH between October 2007 and June 2010 at the Institut Sainte Catherine. Each patient was her own cas
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary.rice@riceconseil.eu
European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)
Source:Eurekalert

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