Purpose: How modern cardiac sparing techniques and beam delivery systems using advanced x-ray and proton beam therapy (PBT) can reduce incidental radiation exposure doses to cardiac and pulmonary organs individually or in any combination is poorly investigated. Methods: Among 15 patients with left-sided breast cancer, partial wide tangential 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) delivered in conventional fractionation (CF) or hypofractionated (HF) schedules; PBT delivered in a CF schedule; and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) delivered in an HF schedule, each under continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and free-breathing (FB) conditions, were examined. Target volume coverage and doses to organs-at-risk (OARs) were calculated for each technique. Outcomes were compared with one-way analysis of variance and the Bonferroni test, with
-values <0.05 considered significant. Results: Target volume coverage was within acceptable levels in all interventions, except for the internal mammary lymph node D95 (99% in PBT, 90% in VMAT-CPAP, 84% in VMAT-FB, and 74% in 3DCRT). The mean heart dose (MHD) was the lowest in PBT (<1 Gy) and VMAT-CPAP (2.2 Gy) and the highest in 3DCRT with CF/FB (7.8 Gy), respectively. The mean lung dose (MLD) was the highest in 3DCRT-CF-FB (20 Gy) and the lowest in both VMAT-HF-CPAP and PBT (approximately 5-6 Gy). VMAT-HF-CPAP and PBT delivered a comparable maximum dose to the left ascending artery (7.2 and 6.13 Gy, respectively). Conclusions: Both proton and VMAT in combination with CPAP can minimize the radiation exposure to heart and lung with optimal target coverage in regional RT for left-sided breast cancer. The clinical relevance of these differences is yet to be elucidated. Continued efforts are needed to minimize radiation exposures during RT treatment to maximize its therapeutic index.