Feasibility and efficacy of active breathing coordinator assisted deep inspiration breath hold technique for treatment of locally advanced breast cancer

Sean All, Bo Zhao, Steven Montalvo, Christian Maxwell, Christopher Johns, Xuejun Gu, Asal Rahimi, Prasanna Alluri, David Parsons, Tsuicheng Chiu, Samuel Schroeder, D. Nathan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Background: Active breathing coordinator (ABC)-assisted deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) is an important organ sparing radiation therapy (RT) technique for left-sided breast cancer patients. Patients with advanced breast cancer undergoing chest wall and regional nodal irradiation often require a field matching technique. While field matching has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in free breathing patients, its safety and accuracy in DIBH/ABC use has not been previously reported. Purpose: To report the accuracy, feasibility, and safety of field matching with ABC/DIBH for patients receiving breast/chest wall irradiation with nodal irradiation using a three-field technique. Methods: From December 2012 to May 2018, breast cancer patients undergoing ABC/DIBH-based RT at a single institution were reviewed. For each fraction, the amount of overlap/gap between the supraclavicular and the tangential field were measured and recorded. Patient characteristics, including acute and delayed skin toxicities, were analyzed. Results: A total of 202 patients utilized ABC/DIBH and 4973 fractions had gap/overlap measurements available for analysis. The average gap/overlap measured at junction was 0.28 mm ± 0.99 mm. A total of 72% of fractions had no measurable gap/overlap (0 mm), while 5.6% had an overlap and 22.7% a gap. There was no significant trend for worsening or improvement of gap/overlap measurements with increasing fraction number per patient. OSLD measurements were compared to the planned dose. The median dose 1 cm above the junction was 106% ± 7% of planned dose (range 94%–116%). One centimeter below the junction, the median dose was 114% ± 11% of planned dose (range 95%–131%). At the junction, the median dose was 106% ± 16.3% of planned dose (range 86%–131%). Acute skin toxicity was similar to historically reported values (grade 3, 5.4%, grade 4, 0%). Conclusion: ABC-assisted DIBH is a safe and technically feasible method of delivering RT in the setting of complex matching field technique for breast and regional nodal treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13893
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ABC, DIBH, Locally Advanced Breast Cancer, 3-field technique, field matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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