When treating left-breast cancer with radiation therapy, our goal is to deliver radiation to your breast area while making sure your heart receives minimal radiation exposure. AlignRT® helps us make sure your heart is in the right place. During treatment planning, you’ll lie on your back while we take 3D images of your body. We’ll ask you to take and hold a deep breath—usually for 15-25 seconds—so that your breast area is as far from your heart as it can be. This is called Deep Inspiration Breath Hold, or DIBH*. During treatment, you’ll take and hold a deep breath in the same way as before. When your breast surface is at the right position, the display light turns green and AlignRT® turns the radiation beam on.
A recent study¹ showed that AlignRT + DIBH effectively prevented radiation-induced abnormalities in blood flow to the heart. Of the breast cancer patients treated, 0% showed these abnormalities after six months. This compares to a previous study without AlignRT or DIBH, where 27% of patients showed new abnormalities in blood flow to the heart six months after radiation therapy².