Treatment planning technique in patients receiving postmastectomy radiation therapy.
Many of the technical subtleties involved in postmastectomy radiation treatment planning will never be addressed in a robust clinical trial setting. However, these issues are faced daily by practicing radiation oncologists with little to guide them in the published literature. The purpose of this study was to survey a small number of breast care providers in both academic and private practice settings on practical aspects of postmastectomy radiation treatment planning. Topics addressed included the use of sophisticated dose-modulation algorithms, hypofractionation, bolus material, and dose-volume histogram (DVH) constraints. Fifty-two people responded to the survey, 50% in academics and 50% in private practice. As expected, wide variation in clinical practice was seen although a few general trends emerged. We include here, with the survey results, a review of the relevant literature for a number of different treatment-related issues. Although the use of postmastectomy radiation therapy is common, literature guiding the reader on technical aspects of delivery is sparse. The data presented here provide a general framework of what is considered acceptable by currently practicing radiation oncologists in many different practice settings.
Blitzblau, RC; Horton, JK
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