Size matters: a comparison of T1 and T2 peripheral non-small-cell lung cancers treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)

Neal E Dunlap, James M Larner, Paul W Read, Benjamin D Kozower, Christine L Lau, Ke Sheng, David R Jones
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2010, 140 (3): 583-9

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes and local control rates of patients with peripheral T1 and T2 non-small-cell lung cancer treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy.

METHODS: The records of 40 consecutive patients treated with 3- or 5-fraction lung stereotactic body radiation therapy for peripheral, clinical stage I non-small-cell lung cancer were reviewed. Stereotactic body radiation therapy was delivered at a median dose of 60 Gy. Doses to organs at risk were limited based on the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0236 treatment protocol. Patients were staged clinically. Median follow was 12.5 months.

RESULTS: Twenty-seven (67%) patients and 13 (33%) patients had T1 and T2 tumors, respectively. Thirty-seven (94%) patients were medically inoperable. Nine (23%) patients had chest wall pain after stereotactic body radiation therapy. Symptomatic pneumonitis developed in 4 (10%) patients. Increasing tumor size correlated with worse local control and overall survival. The median recurrence-free survival for T1 and T2 tumors was 30.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 26.9-34.2) and 20.5 months (95% CI, 14.3-26.5), respectively (P = .038). Local control at 2 years was 90% and 70% in T1 and T2 tumors, respectively (P = .03). The median survival for T1 and T2 tumors was 20 months (95% CI, 20.1-31.6) and 16.7 months (95% CI, 10.8-21.2), respectively (P = .073).

CONCLUSIONS: Stereotactic body radiation therapy for T2 non-small-cell lung cancer has a higher local recurrence rate and trended toward a worse survival than did T1 lesions. Tumor size is an important predictor of response to stereotactic body radiation therapy and should be considered in treatment planning.

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