Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713

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Impact of thoracic radiotherapy on respiratory function and exercise capacity in patients with breast cancer

Impacto da radioterapia torácica na função respiratória e capacidade de exercício em pacientes com câncer de mama

Milena Mako Suesada1,a, Heloisa de Andrade Carvalho2,b, André Luis Pereira de Albuquerque1,c, João Marcos Salge1,d, Silvia Radwanski Stuart2,e, Teresa Yae Takagaki1,f

J Bras Pneumol.2018;44(6):469-476

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: To evaluate the impact of thoracic radiotherapy on respiratory function and exercise capacity in patients with breast cancer. Methods: Breast cancer patients in whom thoracic radiotherapy was indicated after surgical treatment and chemotherapy were submitted to HRCT, respiratory evaluation, and exercise capacity evaluation before radiotherapy and at three months after treatment completion. Respiratory muscle strength testing, measurement of chest wall mobility, and complete pulmonary function testing were performed for respiratory evaluation; cardiopulmonary exercise testing was performed to evaluate exercise capacity. The total radiotherapy dose was 50.4 Gy (1.8 Gy/fraction) to the breast or chest wall, including supraclavicular lymph nodes (SCLN) or not. Dose-volume histograms were calculated for each patient with special attention to the ipsilateral lung volume receiving 25 Gy (V25), in absolute and relative values, and mean lung dose. Results: The study comprised 37 patients. After radiotherapy, significant decreases were observed in respiratory muscle strength, chest wall mobility, exercise capacity, and pulmonary function test results (p < 0.05). DLCO was unchanged. HRCT showed changes related to radiotherapy in 87% of the patients, which was more evident in the patients submitted to SCLN irradiation. V25% significantly correlated with radiation pneumonitis. Conclusions: In our sample of patients with breast cancer, thoracic radiotherapy seemed to have caused significant losses in respiratory and exercise capacity, probably due to chest wall restriction; SCLN irradiation represented an additional risk factor for the development of radiation pneumonitis.

 


Keywords: Breast neoplasms; Radiotherapy; Radiation pneumonitis; Respiratory function tests; Exercise test.

 


 

 


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