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J Breast Cancer. 2016 Dec;19(4):417-422. English. Original Article.
Sung S , Lee JH , Lee JH , Kim SH , Kwak YK , Lee SW , Jeon YW , Suh YJ .
Department of Radiation Oncology, St. Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Surgery, St. Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.

PURPOSE: Surgical clips are used as a target for postoperative breast radiotherapy, and displacement of surgical clips would result in inaccurate delivery of radiation. We investigated the displacement range of surgical clips in the breast during postoperative radiotherapy following breast-conserving surgery. METHODS: A total of 178 patients who received breast-conserving surgery and postoperative radiation of 59.4 Gy in 33 fractions to the involved breast for 6.5 weeks were included. Surgical clips were used to mark the lumpectomy cavity during breast-conserving surgery. Patients undertook planning computed tomography (CT) scan for whole breast irradiation. Five weeks after beginning radiation, when the irradiation dose was 45 Gy, planning CT scan was performed again for a boost radiotherapy plan in all patients. The surgical clips were defined in both CT images and compared in lateromedial (X), anteroposterior (Y), superoinferior (Z), and three-dimensional directions. RESULTS: The 90th percentile of displacement of surgical clips was 5.31 mm (range, 0.0–22.2 mm) in the lateromedial direction, 7.1 mm (range, 0.0–14.2 mm) in the anteroposterior direction, and 6.0 mm (range, 0.0–10.0 mm) in the superoinferior direction. The 90th percentile of three-dimensional displacement distance was 9.8 mm (range, 0.0–28.2 mm). On the multivariate analysis, seroma ≥15 mL was the only independent factor associated with the displacement of surgical clips. In patients with seroma ≥15 mL, the 90th percentile of displacement of surgical clips was 15.1 mm in the lateromedial direction, 12.7 mm in the anteroposterior direction, 10.0 mm in the superoinferior direction, and 21.8 mm in the three-dimensional distance. CONCLUSION: A target volume expansion of 10 mm from surgical clips may be sufficient to compensate for the displacement of clips during postoperative radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery. For patients who had a seroma, a replanning CT scan for a boost radiation should be considered to ensure exact postoperative radiotherapy in breast cancer.

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