Meta-analysis of incidence of early lung toxicity in 3-dimensional conformal irradiation of breast carcinomas

Kumar Gokula, Arul Earnest, Lea C. Wong

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This meta-analysis aims to ascertain the significance of early lung toxicity with 3-Dimensional (3D) conformal irradiation for breast carcinomas and identify the sub-groups of patients with increased risk.Methods: Electronic databases, reference sections of major oncological textbooks and identified studies were searched for synonyms of breast radiotherapy and radiation pneumonitis (RP). Major studies in thoracic irradiation were reviewed to identify factors frequently associated with RP. Meta-analysis for RP incidence estimation and odds ratio calculation were carried out.Results: The overall incidence of Clinical and Radiological RP is 14% and 42% respectively. Ten studies were identified. Dose-volume Histogram (DVH) related dosimetric factors (Volume of lung receiving certain dose, Vdose and Mean lung Dose, MLD), supraclavicular fossa (SCF) irradiation and age are significantly associated with RP, but not sequential chemotherapy and concomitant use of Tamoxifen. A poorly powered study in IMN group contributed to the negative finding. Smoking has a trend towards protective effect against RP.Conclusion: Use of other modalities may be considered when Ipsilateral lung V20Gy > 30% or MLD > 15 Gy. Extra caution is needed in SCF and IMN irradiation as they are likely to influence these dosimetric parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number268
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast radiotherapy
  • Lung toxicity
  • Meta-analysis
  • Radiation pneumonitis

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