Radiation-induced cardiac toxicity in breast cancer patients

Veerle van den Bogaard

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    318 Downloads (Pure)


    Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the Netherlands. Of all women diagnosed with cancer, 28% have breast cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are treated with surgery, followed by additional radiotherapy. When the breast is irradiated, it is unavoidable that a certain amount of radiation also penetrates into the heart. This is especially the case when the left breast is irradiated.
    Consequently, breast cancer radiotherapy may damage the heart, which increases the risk of cardiac complications, such as the risk of a heart attack. The research presented in this thesis show that women treated for breast cancer with surgery and radiotherapy have an increased risk of developing cardiac complications. The risk on cardiac complications increases with an increasing dose to the heart. We also identified specific regions of the heart in which the dose has more effect on the development of cardiac complications, such as the left ventricle.
    With the information derived from this research project, we will be able to identify breast cancer patients who are at high risk for heart damage after breast cancer treatment. By identifying these future high risk patients, it is possible to take preventive measures to minimize the risk of cardiac complications, such as development of radiation techniques that can minimize the radiation dose to the most vulnerable parts of the heart.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Langendijk, Johannes Albertus, Supervisor
    • Crijns, Anne, Co-supervisor
    • Maduro, John, Co-supervisor
    Award date23-Nov-2020
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-93197-31-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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