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Radiother Oncol. 1998 Dec;49(3):233-43.

Prediction of overall pulmonary function loss in relation to the 3-D dose distribution for patients with breast cancer and malignant lymphoma.

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Department of Radiotherapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis, Amsterdam.



To predict the changes in pulmonary function tests (PFTs) 3-4 months after radiotherapy based on the three-dimensional (3-D) dose distribution and taking into account patient- and treatment-related factors.


For 81 patients with malignant lymphoma and breast cancer, PFTs (VA, VC, FEV1 and TL,COc) were performed prior to and 3-4 months after irradiation and dose-effect relations for early changes in local perfusion, ventilation and air-filled fraction were determined using correlated CT and SPECT data. The 3-D dose distribution of each patient was converted into four different dose-volume parameters, i.e. the mean dose in the lung and three overall response parameters (ORPs, which represent the average local injury over the complete lung). ORPs were determined using the dose-effect relations for early changes in local perfusion, ventilation and air-filled fraction. Correlation coefficients were calculated between these dose-volume parameters and the changes in PFTs. In addition, the impact of the variables chemotherapy (MOPP/ABV and CMF), tamoxifen, smoking, age and gender on the relation between the mean lung dose and the relative changes in PFTs following radiotherapy was studied using multiple regression analysis.


The mean lung dose proved to be the easiest parameter to predict the reduction in PFTs 3-4 months following radiotherapy. For all patients the relation between the mean lung dose and the changes in PFTs could be described with one regression line through the origin and a slope of 1% reduction in PFT for each increase of 1 Gy in mean lung dose. Smoking and CMF chemotherapy influenced the reduction in PFTs significantly for VA and TL,COc, respectively. Patients treated with MOPP/ABV prior to radiotherapy had lower pre-radiotherapy PFTs than other patient groups, but did not show further deterioration after radiotherapy (at 3-4 months).


The relative reduction in VA, VC, FEV1 and TL,COc 3-4 months after radiotherapy for breast cancer and malignant lymphoma can be estimated before radiotherapy based on the mean lung dose of each individual patient and taking into account the use of chemotherapy and smoking habits of the patient.

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