All news 26.10.2020

Radiation therapy with respiratory control protects the heart in breast cancer


The specialist in radiation oncology and radiation therapy Dr. Nikolay Nedev will examine patients with oncological diseases in Varna on November 6, 2020. He heads the Radiation Therapy Clinic in Acibadem City Clinic “Mladost” in Sofia, where he already has significant experience in innovative treatment of breast cancer via respiratory arrest. Dr. Nedev explains the advantages of the method.

Radiation therapy is an integral part of the complex treatment of breast cancer. With irradiated left breast, one of the main problems is the dose of radiation that the heart receives. It has become a widely discussed issue in recent years due to several key factors. With comprehensive cancer treatment, patients live much longer than before and have time to develop problems with ischemic heart disease, as a result of radiation therapy given many years earlier. In addition, some modern chemotherapy regimens are potentially cardio toxic and problems tend to accumulate over time.

The radiotherapy technique with respiratory arrest allows radiotherapy to be performed only with deep inhalation. In it, the heart moves slightly backwards from the full of air lungs and this is enough to reduce the dose in it dramatically. This is one of the innovations in the Radiation Therapy Clinic of Acibadem City Clinic, which is routinely applied to all women who are exposed to radiation on the left side of the chest.

During the procedure, the radiation does not reach the heart structures, and it should be known that the dose is safe for the patients. At the command of the machine, after a minute the patient resumes normal breathing and after a break breathes deeply again during the session. In case of possible fatigue and exhalation, the irradiation is interrupted while the patient inhales again. All this usually takes minutes.