Three-Dimensional Breast Radiotherapy and the Elective Radiation Dose at the Sentinel Lymph Node Site in Breast Cancer

Lori M. van Roozendaal*, Robert-Jan Schipper, Leonie H. M. Smit, Boudewijn T. Brans, Regina G. H. Beets-Tan, Marc B. I. Lobbes, Liesbeth J. Boersma, Marjolein L. Smidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)


Several trials are presently randomizing clinically node-negative breast cancer patients treated with breast-conserving therapy (BCT) to sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) or watchful waiting. We aimed to investigate the elective radiation dose at the sentinel lymph node (SLN) site while evaluating two techniques for SLN localization, in breast cancer patients treated with lumpectomy and three-dimensional (3D) whole-breast radiotherapy. The SLN site of consecutive Tis-2N0 breast cancer patients undergoing lumpectomy and forward intensity-modulated whole-breast radiotherapy was determined by the location of the hotspot on preoperative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) and by a surgical clip placed at the removed SLN(s) during SLNB. The radiation dose at the SLN site was subsequently determined on the postoperative radiotherapy planning CT. An elective radiation dose to the SLN site was defined as at least 95 % of the breast dose. Of the 42 included patients, the mean percentage of the breast dose on the SLN site was 90 % (standard deviation 26, range 7-132, median 99), with a non-significant difference between the two techniques (surgical clip or SPECT/CT) (p = 0.608). In 32/42 patients (76 %) the SLN site received an elective radiation dose. A surgical clip placed at the removed SLN(s) during SLNB proved to be an adequate method of determining the radiation dose at the SLN site when compared with using SPECT/CT. With the use of 3D radiotherapy, the site of the SLN is treated with an elective radiation dose in the majority of patients who are treated with BCT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3824-3830
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

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