CyberKnife radiosurgery for inoperable stage IA non-small cell lung cancer: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography serial tumor response assessment

Saloomeh Vahdat, Eric K Oermann, Sean P Collins, Xia Yu, Malak Abedalthagafi, Pedro Debrito, Simeng Suy, Shadi Yousefi, Constanza J Gutierrez, Thomas Chang, Filip Banovac, Eric D Anderson, Giuseppe Esposito, Brian T Collins
Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2010 February 4, 3: 6

OBJECTIVE: To report serial 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) tumor response following CyberKnife radiosurgery for stage IA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS: Patients with biopsy-proven inoperable stage IA NSCLC were enrolled into this IRB-approved study. Targeting was based on 3-5 gold fiducial markers implanted in or near tumors. Gross tumor volumes (GTVs) were contoured using lung windows; margins were expanded by 5 mm to establish the planning treatment volumes (PTVs). Doses ranged from 42-60 Gy in 3 equal fractions. 18F-FDG PET/CT was performed prior to and at 3-6-month, 9-15 months and 18-24 months following treatment. The tumor maximum standardized uptake value (SUV(max)) was recorded for each time point.

RESULTS: Twenty patients with an average maximum tumor diameter of 2.2 cm were treated over a 3-year period. A mean dose of 51 Gy was delivered to the PTV in 3 to 11 days (mean, 7 days). The 30-Gy isodose contour extended an average of 2 cm from the GTV. At a median follow-up of 43 months, the 2-year Kaplan-Meier overall survival estimate was 90% and the local control estimate was 95%. Mean tumor SUV(max) before treatment was 6.2 (range, 2.0 to 10.7). During early follow-up the mean tumor SUV(max) remained at 2.3 (range, 1.0 to 5.7), despite transient elevations in individual tumor SUV(max) levels attributed to peritumoral radiation-induced pneumonitis visible on CT imaging. At 18-24 months the mean tumor SUV(max) for controlled tumors was 2.0, with a narrow range of values (range, 1.5 to 2.8). A single local failure was confirmed at 24 months in a patient with an elevated tumor SUV(max) of 8.4.

CONCLUSION: Local control and survival following CyberKnife radiosurgery for stage IA NSCLC is exceptional. Early transient increases in tumor SUV(max) are likely related to radiation-induced pneumonitis. Tumor SUV(max) values return to background levels at 18-24 months, enhancing 18F-FDG PET/CT detection of local failure. The value of 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging for surveillance following lung SBRT deserves further study.

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