In the treatment of breast cancer and lung cancer, breath-controlled radiation (respiratory gating) is used mainly when part of the heart lies in the radiated area for the irradiation of the left breast or left lung. The basic principle of this technology is that on deep inhalation the hearts sinks so low in the breast cavity that it is outside of the radiation area. The computer uses a real-time position management system to calculate the precise moment in which the distance between breast and heart is the largest. Once the distance is reduced, the radiation is immediately stopped.
The heart is protected thanks to this breath-triggered radiotherapy. The risk of suffering a heart attack as a late reaction to the radiotherapy is minimized by this method. The radiation duration in respiratory gating is a maximum of two minutes..
Breath-controlled radiotherapy for breast cancer