Multi-Institutional Experience of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Large (≥5 Centimeters) Non-Small Cell Lung Tumors

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is the standard of care for patients with nonoperative, early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) measuring < 5 cm, but its use among patients with tumors measuring ≥5 cm is considerably less defined, with the existing literature limited to small, single-institution reports. The current multi-institutional study reported outcomes evaluating the largest such population reported to date.

METHODS:

Clinical/treatment characteristics, outcomes, toxicities, and patterns of failure were assessed in patients with primary NSCLC measuring ≥5 cm without evidence of distant/lymph node metastasis who underwent SBRT using ≤5 fractions. Statistics included Kaplan-Meier survival analyses and univariate/multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS:

A total of 92 patients treated from 2004 through 2016 were analyzed from 12 institutions. The median follow-up was 12 months (15 months in survivors). The median age and tumor size among the patients were 73 years (range, 50-95 years) and 5.4 cm (range, 5.0-7.5 cm), respectively. The median dose/fractionation was 50 Gray/5 fractions. The actuarial local control rates at 1 year and 2 years were 95.7% and 73.2%, respectively. The disease-free survival rate was 72.1% and 53.5%, respectively, at 1 year and 2 years. The 1-year and 2-year disease-specific survival rates were 95.5% and 78.6%, respectively. The median, 1-year, and 2-year overall survival rates were 21.4 months, 76.2%, and 46.4%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, lung cancer history and pre-SBRT positron emission tomography maximum standardized uptake value were found to be associated with overall survival. Posttreatment failures were most commonly distant (33% of all disease recurrences), followed by local (26%) and those occurring elsewhere in the lung (23%). Three patients had isolated local failures. Grade 3 to 4 toxicities included 1 case (1%) and 4 cases (4%) of grade 3 dermatitis and radiation pneumonitis, respectively (toxicities were graded according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [version 4.0]). Grades 2 to 5 radiation pneumonitis occurred in 11% of patients. One patient with a tumor measuring 7.5 cm and a smoking history of 150 pack-years died of radiation pneumonitis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the current study, which is the largest study of patients with NSCLC measuring ≥5 cm reported to date, indicate that SBRT is a safe and efficacious option.

To the authors' knowledge, the current study is the largest published to date to examine stereotactic body radiotherapy for patients with non–small cell lung tumors measuring ≥5 cm. This multi-institutional analysis demonstrates that stereotactic body radiotherapy is a safe and efficacious option for these patients.

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