INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of breast size on long-term toxicity and cosmesis in patients with breast cancer treated with hypofractionated simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with early stage breast cancer were treated with 3-week hypofractionated SIB-VMAT to the whole breast (40.5 Gy) and tumor bed (48 Gy). Two cohorts were identified: small/medium- (< 1000 cm3) and large- (> 1000 cm3) breasted patients. Acute and late (at 2 and 5 years) skin toxicity and cosmetic data were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analysis evaluated associations between toxicity and dosimetric/anatomical variables.
RESULTS: From August 2010 to March 2017, a total of 1160 patients were treated; 831 had at least 2 years of follow-up and were analyzed. Treated skin area (TSA) receiving at least 20 Gy > 400 cm2 and V105% of Boost > 5 cm3 were significant predictors for acute skin toxicity. Multivariate analysis at 2 years was significant for boost volume > 70 cm3, TSA > 400 cm2, and breast size > 1500 cm3. At 5 year analysis (352 patients), none of the analyzed variables was significant. For cosmetic outcome, only the breast size (> 1000 cm3) and the boost size > 70 cm3 at 2 and 5 years, respectively, confirmed significance.
CONCLUSIONS: The TSA > 400 cm2 resulted as a significant predictor of both acute and late skin toxicity at 2 years; however, at 5 years, no breast size or dosimetric parameter suggested indications for increased toxicity. A worse cosmetic outcome was recorded at the 2-year follow up for large breasts, but was not confirmed at the 5-year follow-up. These long-term data suggest that hypofractionated SIB-VMAT is a viable modality also in large-breasted patients.