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To evaluate the dosimetric parameters of level II lymph nodes in chest wall three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) of mastectomy patients using dual-isocentric (DIT) and mono-isocentric techniques (MIT).
Materials and methods:
Computed tomography (CT) images of 20 mastectomy patients undergoing chest wall external radiotherapy were used as the input data for the abovementioned techniques. Selected dosimetric parameters were calculated for the axillary level I–III lymph nodes, chest wall, heart and lung. Paired t-test statistical analysis was used for comparing the results of MIT and DIT in both 3D-CRT and IMRT methods.
There were significant differences in Dmin (minimum dose), Dmax (maximum dose) and maximum–minimum dose between MIT and DIT techniques (13, −8·6, −52·2% differences for Dmin, Dmax and maximum–minimum, respectively) in IMRT. There were also significant differences for Dmean (mean dose), Dmax and maximum–minimum dose (7·8, −11·4, −44·6% differences in Dmean, Dmax and maximum–minimum, respectively) in 3D-CRT (p < 0·05). In addition, there were not any differences in the dosimetric parameters for heart, lung and level I and III lymph nodes.
In both 3D-CRT and IMRT methods, level II lymph node dose distribution in MIT was closer to the prescribed dose compared with DIT due to the position of these nodes in the field junction area. To achieve a better dose homogeneity, it could be recommended to use MIT instead of DIT in 3D-CRT and IMRT for mastectomy patients.
During the radiation therapy of tumoral breast, the contralateral breast (CB) will receive scattered doses. In the present study, the photon and thermal neutron dose values received by CB surface during breast cancer radiation therapy were measured.
Materials and methods:
The right breast region of RANDO phantom was considered as CB, and the measurements of photon and thermal neutron dose values were carried out on this region surface. The phantom was irradiated with 18 MV photon beams, and the dose values were measured with thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD-600 and TLD-700) chips for 11 × 13, 11 × 17 and 11 × 21 cm2 field sizes in the presence of physical and dynamic wedges.
The total dose values (photon + thermal neutron) received by the CB surface in the presence of physical wedge were 12·06%, 15·75% and 33·40% of the prescribed dose, respectively, for 11 × 13, 11 × 17 and 11 × 21 cm2 field sizes. The corresponding dose values for dynamic wedge were 9·18%, 12·92% and 29·26% of the prescribed dose, respectively. Moreover, the results showed that treatment field size and wedge type affect the received photon and thermal neutron doses at CB surface.
According to our results, the total dose values received at CB surface during breast cancer radiotherapy with high-energy photon beams are remarkable. In addition, the dose values received at CB surface when using a physical wedge were greater than when using a dynamic wedge, especially for medial tangential fields.
The incidence of breast cancer has surpassed cervical cancer in India and it has now become the most common cancer in women. Multiple randomised studies have reported low α/β value in the range of 3–4 for breast cancer, which predict a potential radiobiological advantage for hypofractionated radiotherapy resulting in such schedules becoming standard in many centers with reduction in overall treatment time. Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a novel technique of delivering radiotherapy that reduces treatment delivery time, requires less monitor units (MU) and offers good conformity. The mean dose to normal tissue may be minimised using this technique although there will be inferior sparing if we consider the low-dose volume such as V5, the effect of which is not quantifiable yet.
Reporting acute toxicity, cosmetic effects, and quality of life in patients of early breast cancer treated with adjuvant hypofractionated VMAT with SIB.
Material and Methods:
The records of 44 patients registered at the hospital between August 2014 and December 2015 were included in this analysis. Acute toxicities were analysed using CTCAE v4.03. Cosmetic outcomes were assessed using Harvard scale, while quality of life outcomes were assessed using EORTC scales and Health Related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaires (QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23).
No grade ≥2 skin toxicities were recorded. Breast pain was recorded as Grade 1 in 13·8% patients and Grade 1 fatigue in 18·2%. The maximum haematological abnormality grade recorded was Grade 1. Cosmesis was assessed at the baseline, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. A total of 88·6% of the patients had an Excellent or good cosmesis at the baseline, which was similar even at 6 months, at 88·7%, improved further at 1 year to 90·9%. At 6 months post radiotherapy, high functional scale QOL scores were noted.
The technique is associated with minimum acute toxicity, good to excellent cosmesis and acceptable quality of life.
The role of diet on breast cancer risk is not well elucidated but animal food sources may play a role through, for example, the pathway of the insulin-like growth factor 1 system or cholesterol metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between animal foods and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. This study was embedded in the Rotterdam Study, a population-based prospective cohort study of subjects aged 55 years and over (61 % female). Dietary intake of different animal foods was assessed at baseline using a validated FFQ and adjusted for energy intake using the residual method. We performed Cox proportional hazards modelling to analyse the association between the intake of the different food sources and breast cancer risk after adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle and metabolic factors. During a median follow-up of 17 years, we identified 199 cases of breast cancer (6·2 %) among 3209 women. After adjustment for multiple confounders, no consistent association was found between the intake of red meat intake, poultry, fish or dairy products and breast cancer risk. However, we found that egg intake was significantly associated with a higher risk of breast cancer (hazard ratioQ4 v. Q1: 1·83; 95 % CI 1·20, 2·79; Ptrend=0·01). In conclusion, this study found that dietary egg intake but no other animal foods was associated with a higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Further research on the potential mechanisms underlying this association is warranted.
Incidence rates of breast cancer (BC) are increasing in South Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between dietary intake and BC risk in black South African women. The study population included 396 BC cases and 396 population-based controls matched on age and residence, participating in the South African Breast Cancer study. Diet was assessed using a validated quantified FFQ from which twelve energy-adjusted food groups were formed and analysed. OR were estimated using conditional logistic regressions, adjusted for confounding factors, comparing highest v. lowest median intake. Fresh fruit consumption showed an inverse association with BC risk (OR=0·3, 95 % CI 0·12, 0·80) in premenopausal women, whilst red and organ meat consumption showed an overall inverse association with BC risk (OR=0·6, 95 % CI 0·49, 0·94 and OR=0·6, 95 % CI 0·47, 0·91). Savoury food consumption (sauces, soups and snacks) were positively associated with BC risk in postmenopausal women (OR=2·1, 95 % CI 1·15, 4·07). Oestrogen receptor-positive stratification showed an inverse association with BC risk and consumption of nuts and seeds (OR=0·2, 95 % CI 0·58, 0·86). Based on these results, it is recommended that black South African women follow a diet with more fruit and vegetables together with a decreased consumption of less energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods such as savoury foods. More research is necessary to investigate the association between BC risk and red and organ meat consumption. Affordable and practical methods regarding these recommendations should be implemented within health intervention strategies.
Menopause, the permanent cessation of the menstrual cycle, marks the end of a woman's reproductive lifespan. In addition to changes in sex hormone levels associated with menopause, its timing is another predictor of future health outcomes such as duration of the presence of vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and the risk of hormone-related cancers. With ageing of the population, it is estimated that worldwide 1·2 billion women will be menopausal by the year 2030. Previously the effects of reproductive factors (e.g. parity, age at menarche, pregnancy) and socio-demographic factors on intermediate and long-term health outcomes of menopause have been widely documented. However, little is known about whether diet could have an impact on these. Therefore, we review current evidence on the associations of diet with menopause, presence of VMS and the risk of hormone-related cancers such as ovarian, endometrial and breast cancer. Dietary factors could influence the lifespan of the ovaries and sex-hormones levels, hence the timing of natural menopause. Few studies reported an association between diet, in particular soya consumption, and a reduced risk of VMS. Sustained oestrogen exposure has been associated with a higher risk of hormone-related cancers and thus high-fat and meat diets have been linked with an increased risk of these cancers. However, to better understand the mechanistic pathways involved and to make stronger conclusions for these relationships, further studies investigating the associations of dietary intakes and dietary patterns with menopause, presence of VMS and the risk of hormone-related cancers are required.
To evaluate the use of exercise in managing fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy. To explore the effectiveness of different exercise practices and explore how optimum management of fatigue might be achieved.
A CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) database search of literature was undertaken and publications screened for retrieval with 24 qualifying for inclusion in the review.
There is evidence to support various forms of exercise including aerobic, resistance, alternative and combination exercise in the management of fatigue in early stage breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy. The benefits of exercise for patients with later stage and metastatic disease is less clear and there is a lack of published research related to this category of patient.
Exercise is considered a safe, non-pharmacological intervention for early stage breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant radiotherapy. Further investigation is required into optimum exercise interventions and the effectiveness and viability of supervised and unsupervised models. Patient centred tailored advice and guidance needs to be developed and effectively promoted by therapeutic radiographers in order for patients to fully realise the benefit.
Polyphenols are a wide family of phytochemicals present in diverse foods. They might play a role in cancer development and progression. In vivo and in vitro studies have suggested beneficial properties and potential mechanisms. We aimed to evaluate the association between total and main classes of polyphenol intake and breast cancer (BC) risk in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra project – a prospective Mediterranean cohort study. We included 10 713 middle-aged, Spanish female university graduates. Polyphenol intake was derived from a semi-quantitative FFQ and matching food consumption data from the Phenol-Explorer database. Women with self-reported BC were asked to return a copy of their medical report for confirmation purposes; death certificates were used for fatal cases. Cox models were fitted to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the association between tertiles (T) of polyphenol intake and BC. After 10·3 years of median follow-up, 168 probable incident BC cases were identified, out of which 100 were confirmed. We found no association between polyphenol intake and the overall BC risk. Nevertheless, we observed a significant inverse association between total polyphenol intake and BC risk for postmenopausal women, either for probable or only for confirmed cases (HRT3 v. T1 0·31 (95 % CI 0·13, 0·77; Ptrend=0·010)). Also, phenolic acid intake was inversely associated with postmenopausal BC. In summary, we observed no significant association between total polyphenol intake and BC risk. Despite a low number of incident BC cases in our cohort, higher total polyphenol intake was associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal BC.
This study aimed to investigate the association between diet and the risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. A total of 35 372 women aged 35–69 years were enrolled between 1995 and 1998 and completed a validated 217-item FFQ. The individual foods were collapsed into sixty-four main food groups and compared using Cox proportional models, adjusting for potential confounders. Hazard ratio (HR) estimates are presented per portion increase in food items. After approximately 18 years of follow-up, there were 1822, 294 and 285 cases of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer, respectively. A high consumption of processed meat and total meat was associated with an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. High intake of tomatoes (HR 0·87, 99 % CI 0·75, 1·00) and dried fruits (HR 0·60, 99 % CI 0·37, 0·97) was associated with a reduced risk of breast and endometrial cancer, respectively. Mushroom intake was associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer (HR 1·57, 99 % CI 1·09, 2·26). Subgroup analysis by pre- or postmenopausal cancer further demonstrated an association between processed meat intake and both postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer. Intake of dried fruits was associated with a reduced risk of postmenopausal endometrial cancer (HR 0·55, 99 % CI 0·31, 0·98). Our findings suggest that while some foods may trigger the risk of these cancers, some foods may also be protective; supporting the call for further randomised controlled trials of dietary interventions to reduce the risk of cancer among pre- and postmenopausal women.
The goal of this study was to assess the effectiveness of immersive virtual reality (VR) distraction technology in reducing pain and anxiety among female patients with breast cancer.
A randomized control trial design was used with a sample of 80 female patients with breast cancer at a specialized cancer center in Jordan. Participants were randomly assigned into intervention and comparison groups.
The study findings showed that one session of the immersive VR plus morphine made a significant reduction in pain and anxiety self-reported scores, compared with morphine alone, in breast cancer patients.
Significance of results
Immersive VR is an effective distraction intervention for managing pain and anxiety among breast cancer patients. Using immersive VR as an adjuvant intervention is more effective than morphine alone in relieving pain and anxiety; furthermore, VR is a safe intervention more than pharmacological treatment.
The Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) reported that the risks of breast cancer treatment in woman smokers may outweigh the benefits. The data used doses from published reports using a variety of treatment techniques. In our study, the risks of lung cancer and heart disease were determined from a modern era tangential-only technique.
Methods and materials
Doses to the lung and heart were obtained for tangential radiotherapy to the breast or chest wall. The risk of lung cancer incidence and cardiac mortality were calculated by taking the ratio of our doses to those published by the EBCTG.
A total of 77 women were identified meeting our inclusion criteria. The mean combined whole lung dose was 2·0 Gy. The mean whole heart dose was 0·9 Gy. The estimated risk of lung cancer and cardiac mortality in a 50-year-old life-long smoker was estimated to be 1·5 and <1%, respectively.
Tangential only radiotherapy delivered substantially lower doses to the combined whole lung and whole heart than those reported by the EBCTCG. In this cohort, the risks of radiation induced lung cancer and heart disease are outweighed by the benefits of radiotherapy even in those that are smokers.
Breast intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) is a partial irradiation technique that delivers a single fraction of radiation dose to the tumour bed during surgery. The use of this technique is increasing (especially in the Middle East), and therefore, it is essential to have a comprehensive approach to this treatment modality. The aim of this study is to conduct a literature review on available IORT modalities during breast irradiation as well as dedicated IORT machines and associated treatment procedures. The main IORT trials and corresponding clinical outcomes are also studied.
Materials and Methods
A computerised search was performed through MEDLINE, PubMed, PubMed Central, ISI web of knowledge and reference list of related articles.
IORT is now feasible through using two main modalities, including low-kilovolt IORT and intraoperative electron radiotherapy (IOERT). The dedicated machines employed and treatment procedure for mentioned modalities are quite different. The outcomes of implemented clinical trials showed that IORT is not inferior to external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) in specifically selected and well-informed patients and can be considered as an alternative to EBRT.
Although the clinical outcomes of introduced IORT methods are comparable, but based on the review results, it could be said that IOERT is the most effective technical method, in view of the treatment time and dose uniformity concepts. The popularity of IORT is mainly due to the distinguished obtained results during breast cancer treatment. Despite the presence of some technical challenges, it is expected that the IORT technique will become more widespread in the immediate future.
During the treatment of breast cancer, radiotherapy to the supraclavicular fossa region results in absorption of radiation by the thyroid gland and consequently leads to hypothyroidism in 40% of patients. The aim of this study was to compare thyroid gland radiation absorption during radiotherapy with different anterioposterior beam radiation of 6–15 and 15–15 MV photon beam energies.
Materials and methods
In total, 29 patients with breast cancer were recruited to this study. Adjuvant radiotherapy with a total dose of 50 Gy was performed for each participant. Thyroid gland dosimetric measurements were evaluated including, mean dose, minimum and maximum dose, and V20, V30, V40 and V50 (percentage of thyroid volume receiving ≥20, ≥30, ≥40 and ≥50 Gy, respectively). The irradiation delivered doses were measured using Prowess Panther treatment planning system (Version 5.5). All data were evaluated using SPSS software.
In total, 29 subjects with mean age of 53·4±9·4 were studied. According to the obtained results, at 15–15 MV energies, a significantly lower dose was absorbed by the thyroid gland, was observed in contrast to their counterparts who were treated with 6–15 MV photon beam energies.
Using 15–15 MV photon beam energies field can significantly reduce the absorbed dose to the thyroid gland and consequently can reduce the risk of developing hypothyroidism in breast cancer patients treated with radiotherapy.
Although obesity has now been widely accepted to be an important risk factor for cancer survival, the associations between BMI and cancer mortality have not been consistently linear. Although morbid obesity has clearly been associated with worse survival, some studies have suggested a U-shaped association with no adverse association with overweight or lower levels of obesity. This ‘obesity paradox’ may be due to the fact that BMI likely incompletely captures key measures of body composition, including distribution of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Fat and lean body mass can be measured using clinically acquired computed tomography scans. Many of the earlier studies focused on patients with metastatic cancer. However, skeletal muscle loss in the metastatic setting may reflect end-stage disease processes. Therefore, this article focuses on the clinical implication of low skeletal muscle mass in early-stage non-metastatic breast and colorectal cancer where measures of body composition have been shown to be strong predictors of disease-free survival and overall survival and also chemotherapy toxicity and operative risk.
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most complex, diverse and leading cause of death in women worldwide. The present investigation aims to explore genes panel associated with BC in different African regions, and compare them to those studied worldwide.
We extracted relevant information from 43 studies performed in Africa using the following criteria: case-control study, association between genetic variations and BC risk. Data were provided on mutations and polymorphisms associated with BC without fixing a specific date. Case-only studies and clinical trials were excluded.
Our study revealed that the majority of African BC genetic studies remain restricted to the investigation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and differences in their mutations spectrum. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage African researchers to characterize more genes involved in BC using methods generating global information such as next-generation sequencing in order to guide specific and more effective therapeutic strategies for the African community.
Although previous studies have investigated the association of cruciferous vegetable consumption with breast cancer risk, few studies focused on the association between bioactive components in cruciferous vegetables, glucosinolates (GSL) and isothiocyanates (ITC), and breast cancer risk. This study aimed to examine the association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and breast cancer risk according to GSL and ITC contents in a Chinese population. A total of 1485 cases and 1506 controls were recruited into this case–control study from June 2007 to March 2017. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ. Dietary GSL and ITC were computed by using two food composition databases linking GSL and ITC contents in cruciferous vegetables with responses to the FFQ. The OR and 95 % CI were assessed by unconditional logistic regression after adjusting for the potential confounders. Significant inverse associations were found between consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and breast cancer risk. The adjusted OR comparing the highest with the lowest quartile were 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·63) for cruciferous vegetables, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·44, 0·67) for GSL and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·76) for ITC, respectively. These inverse associations were also observed in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Subgroup analysis by hormone receptor status found inverse associations between cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and both hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. This study indicated that consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC was inversely associated with breast cancer risk among Chinese women.
Weight, weight change and physical activity may affect prognosis among women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Observational studies show associations between overweight/obesity and weight gain with several measures of reduced prognosis in women with breast cancer, and some suggestions of lower survival in women who are underweight or who experience unexplained weight loss after diagnosis. Observational studies have also shown an association between higher levels of physical activity and reduced breast cancer-specific and all-cause mortality, although a dose–response relationship has not been established. The effects of purposive dietary weight loss and increase in physical activity on survival or recurrence in breast cancer are not yet established, and randomised controlled trials are needed for definitive data. This paper presents the epidemiologic evidence on weight status, weight change, and physical activity and breast cancer survival; suggests potential mediating mechanisms; summarises evidence on weight loss interventions in breast cancer survivors; describes ongoing randomised clinical trials designed to test the effects of weight loss or physical activity on breast cancer survival; and provides information on available guidelines on weight and physical activity for cancer survivors.
Accurate and reproducible patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy for breast cancer. This has seen the use of permanent skin markings becoming standard practice in many centres. Permanent skin markings may have a negative impact on long-term cosmetic outcome, which may in turn, have psychological implications in terms of body image. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a semi-permanent tattooing device for the administration of skin marks for breast radiotherapy set-up.
Materials and methods
This was designed as a phase II double-blinded randomised-controlled study comparing our standard permanent tattoos with the Precision Plus Micropigmentation (PPMS) device method. Patients referred for radical breast radiotherapy were eligible for the study. Each study participant had three marks applied using a randomised combination of the standard permanent and PPMS methods and was blinded to the type of each mark. Follow up was at routine appointments until 24 months post radiotherapy. Participants and a blind assessor were invited to score the visibility of each tattoo at each follow-up using a Visual Analogue Scale. Tattoo scores at each time point and change in tattoo scores at 24 months were analysed by a general linear model using the patient as a fixed effect and the type of tattoo (standard or research) as covariate. A simple questionnaire was used to assess radiographer feedback on using the PPMS.
In total, 60 patients were recruited to the study, of which 55 were available for follow-up at 24 months. Semi-permanent tattoos were more visible at 24 months than the permanent tattoos. Semi-permanent tattoos demonstrated a greater degree of fade than the permanent tattoos at 24 months (final time point) post completion of radiotherapy. This was not statistically significant, although it was more apparent for the patient scores (p=0·071) than the blind assessor scores (p=0·27). No semi-permanent tattoos required re-marking before the end of radiotherapy and no adverse skin reactions were observed.
The PPMS presents a safe and feasible alternative to our permanent tattooing method. An extended period of follow-up is required to fully assess the extent of semi-permanent tattoo fade.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether significant difference exists on radiation dose delivered to organs at risks in megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) verification using three predefined scanning modes, namely fine (2 mm), normal (4 mm) and coarse (6 mm). This will provide information for the imaging protocol of tomotherapy for the left breast.
Materials and methods
Organ doses were measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100) placed within a female Rando phantom for MVCT imaging. Kruskal–Wallis test was conducted with p<0·05 to evaluate the significant difference between the three MVCT scanning modes.
Statistically significant difference existed in organ absorbed dose between different scan mode selections (p<0·001). Relative to the normal scan selection (4 mm), the absorbed dose to the organs of interests can be scaled down by 0·7 and scaled up by 2·1 for coarse (6 mm) and fine scans (2 mm) respectively.
Optimisation of imaging protocols is of paramount importance to keep the radiation exposure ‘as low as reasonably achievable’. The recommendation of undergoing daily coarse mode for MVCT verification in breast tomotherapy not only mitigates the radiation exposure to normal tissues, but also trims the scan-acquisition time.