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Jason Matney on Deep Inspiration Breath Hold During Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Jason Matney, PhD, clinical assistant professor, Physics and Computing Division, Department of Radiation Oncology, UNC School of Medicine, discusses a prospective assessment of deep inspiration breath hold to prevent radiation-associated cardiac perfusion defects in patients with left-sided breast cancer.

Jason Matney, PhD, clinical assistant professor, Division of Physics and Computing, Department of Radiation Oncology, UNC School of Medicine, discusses deep inspiration breath hold as a method to prevent radiation-associated cardiac perfusion defects in patients with left-sided breast cancer.

Approximately 20% to 30% of patients with left-sided breast cancer have been reported to experience an increase in cardiac toxicities. A recent prospective assessment examined the efficacy of deep inspiration breath hold in preventing these events. During this technique, patients deeply inhale, which helps push the heart away from the radiation field, Matney explains.

Results showed that in the 14 enrolled patients who underwent a pre-radiation therapy scan and 6-month post-radiation therapy scan, no cardiac perfusion defects were observed. These data suggest that this technique, which is simple enough for patients, may also be effective at reducing heart dose, Matney says.

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