Hemithoracic radiation therapy after extrapleural pneumonectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma: Toxicity and outcomes at an Australian institution

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Abstract

Introduction:

We aim to report the outcome of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and adjuvant hemithoracic radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy at a single Australian institution.

Method:

Between July 2004 and March 2013, 53 patients were referred for radiation treatment following EPP, of whom 49 were suitable for adjuvant treatment. Radiation treatment initially involved a 3D conformal, mixed electron/photon technique, delivering 45–50.4 Gy in 25–28 fractions (31 patients) and subsequently a nine-field intensity-modulated radiotherapy technique, delivering 50.4–54 Gy in 28–30 fractions (18 patients). Fifty-five per cent of patients also received pre-operative chemotherapy. We assessed toxicity, disease-specific and overall survival in patients who commenced radiation treatment.

Results:

Forty-one patients (84%) completed treatment as prescribed. Six patients stopped prematurely due to toxicity, and two with disease progression. Most patients discontinuing due to toxicity received over 90% of the prescribed dose. Common acute toxicities included nausea, fatigue, anorexia and dermatitis. Severe early toxicities were rare. Late toxicities were uncommon, with the exception of a persistent elevation in liver enzymes in those with right-sided disease. Neither clinical hepatitis nor radiation pneumonitis was documented. With a median follow up of 18.7 months, median disease-free and overall survival were 21.6 and 30.5 months, respectively, and 2-year overall survival was 57.3%.

Conclusion:

Hemithoracic radiotherapy following EPP, although associated with significant early toxicity, is well tolerated. Most patients complete the prescribed treatment, and clinically significant late toxicities are rare.

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