This study investigated the feasibility and potential clinical benefit of utilizing a new proton treatment technique: Spot-scanning Proton Arc (SPArc) therapy for left-sided breast cancer irradiation to further reduce radiation dose to healthy tissue and mitigate the probability of normal tissue complications compared to conventional Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy(IMPT).
Eight patients diagnosed with left-sided breast cancer and treated with breast-preserving surgery followed by whole breast irradiation without regional nodal irradiation were included in this retrospective planning. Two proton treatment plans were generated for each patient: vertical intensity-modulated proton therapy used for clinical treatment (vIMPT, gantry angle 10°-30°) and SPArc for comparison purpose. Both SPArc and vIMPT plans were optimized using the robust optimization of ± 3.5% range and 5 mm setup uncertainties. Root-mean-square deviation dose (RMSD) volume histograms were used for plan robustness evaluation. All dosimetric results were evaluated based on dose-volume histograms (DVH), and the interplay effect was evaluated based on the accumulation of single-fraction 4D dynamic dose on CT50. The treatment beam delivery time was simulated based on a gantry rotation with energy-layer-switching-time (ELST) from 0.2 to 5 s.
The average D1 to the heart and LAD were reduced to 53.63 cGy and 82.25 cGy compared with vIMPT 110.38 cGy (p = 0.001) and 170.38 cGy (p = 0.001), respectively. The average V5Gy and V20Gy of ipsilateral lung was reduced to 16.77% and 3.07% compared to vIMPT 25.56% (p = 0.001) and 4.68% (p = 0.003). Skin3mm mean and maximum dose was reduced to 3999.38 cGy and 4395.63 cGy compared to vIMPT 4104.25 cGy (p = 0.039) and 4411.63 cGy (p = 0.043), respectively. A significant relative risk reduction (RNTCP = NTCPSPArc / NTCPvIMPT) for organs at risk (OARs) was obtained with SPArc ranging from 0.61 to 0.86 depending on the clinical endpoint. The RMSD Volume Histogram(RVH) analysis shows SPArc provided better plan robustness in OARs sparing, including the heart, LAD, ipsilateral lung, and skin. The average estimated treatment beam delivery times were comparable to vIMPT plans when the ELST is about 0.5 s.
SPArc technique can further reduce dose delivered to OARs and the probability of normal tissue complications in patients treated for left-sided breast cancer.