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Semin Radiat Oncol. 2016 Jan;26(1):71-8. doi: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2015.09.003. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Contemporary Breast Radiotherapy and Cardiac Toxicity.

Author information

1
Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine, Smilow Cancer Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT.
2
Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine, Smilow Cancer Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT. Electronic address: Suzanne.evans@yale.edu.

Abstract

Long-term cardiac effects are an important component of survivorship after breast radiotherapy. The pathophysiology of cardiotoxicity, history of breast radiotherapy, current methods of cardiac avoidance, modern outcomes, context of historical outcomes, quantifying cardiac effects, and future directions are reviewed in this article. Radiation-induced oxidative stress induces proinflammatory cytokines and is a process that potentiates late effects of fibrosis and intimal proliferation in endothelial vasculature. Breast radiation therapy has changed substantially in recent decades. Several modern technologies exist to improve cardiac avoidance such as deep inspiration breath hold, gating, accelerated partial breast irradiation, and use of modern 3-dimensional planning. Modern outcomes may vary notably from historical long-term cardiac outcomes given the differences in cardiac dose with modern techniques. Methods of quantifying radiation-related cardiotoxicity that correlate with future cardiac risks are needed with current data exploring techniques such as measuring computed tomography coronary artery calcium score, single-photon emission computed tomography imaging, and biomarkers. Placing historical data, dosimetric correlations, and relative cardiac risk in context are key when weighing the benefits of radiotherapy in breast cancer control and survival. Estimating present day cardiac risk in the modern treatment era includes challenges in length of follow-up and the use of confounding cardiotoxic agents such as evolving systemic chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Future directions in both multidisciplinary management and advancing technology in radiation oncology may provide further improvements in patient risk reduction and breast cancer survivorship.

PMID:
26617212
DOI:
10.1016/j.semradonc.2015.09.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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