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Predicting radiation pneumonitis after stereotactic ablative radiation therapy in patients previously treated with conventional thoracic radiation therapy

Hui Liu, Xu Zhang, Yevgeniy Y Vinogradskiy, Stephen G Swisher, Ritsuko Komaki, Joe Y Chang
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2012 November 15, 84 (4): 1017-23
22543216

PURPOSE: To determine the incidence of and risk factors for radiation pneumonitis (RP) after stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) to the lung in patients who had previously undergone conventional thoracic radiation therapy.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Seventy-two patients who had previously received conventionally fractionated radiation therapy to the thorax were treated with SABR (50 Gy in 4 fractions) for recurrent disease or secondary parenchymal lung cancer (T<4 cm, N0, M0, or Mx). Severe (grade≥3) RP and potential predictive factors were analyzed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. A scoring system was established to predict the risk of RP.

RESULTS: At a median follow-up time of 16 months after SABR (range, 4-56 months), 15 patients had severe RP (14 [18.9%] grade 3 and 1 [1.4%] grade 5) and 1 patient (1.4%) had a local recurrence. In univariate analyses, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) before SABR, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and previous planning target volume (PTV) location were associated with the incidence of severe RP. The V10 and mean lung dose (MLD) of the previous plan and the V10-V40 and MLD of the composite plan were also related to RP. Multivariate analysis revealed that ECOG PS scores of 2-3 before SABR (P=.009), FEV1≤65% before SABR (P=.012), V20≥30% of the composite plan (P=.021), and an initial PTV in the bilateral mediastinum (P=.025) were all associated with RP.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that severe RP was relatively common, occurring in 20.8% of patients, and could be predicted by an ECOG PS score of 2-3, an FEV1≤65%, a previous PTV spanning the bilateral mediastinum, and V20≥30% on composite (previous RT+SABR) plans. Prospective studies are needed to validate these predictors and the scoring system on which they are based.

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