Ga-68-macroaggregated albumin (68Ga-perfusion) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is a novel imaging technique for the assessment of functional lung volumes. The purpose of this study was to use this imaging technique for functional adaptation of definitive radiotherapy plans in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Methods:
This was a prospective clinical trial of patients with NSCLC who received definitive 3-dimensional (3D) conformal radiotherapy to 60 Gy in 30 fx and underwent pretreatment respiratory-gated (4-dimensional [4D]) perfusion PET/CT. The “perfused” lung volume was defined as all lung parenchyma taking up radiotracer, and the “well-perfused” lung volume was contoured using a visually adapted threshold of 30% maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax). Alternate 3D conformal plans were subsequently created and optimized to avoid perfused and well-perfused lung volumes. Functional dose volumetrics were compared using mean lung dose (MLD), V5 (volume receiving 5 Gy or more), V10, V20, V30, V40, V50, and V60 parameters.Results:
Fourteen consecutive patients had alternate radiotherapy plans created based on functional lung volumes. When considering the original treatment plan, the dose to perfused and well-perfused functional lung volumes was similar to that of the conventional anatomical lung volumes with an average MLD of 12.15, 12.67, and 12.11 Gy, respectively. Plans optimized for well-perfused lung improved functional V30, V40, V50, and V60 metrics (all P values <.05). The functional MLD of well-perfused lung was improved by a median of 0.86 Gy, P < .01. However, plans optimized for perfused lung only showed significant improvement in the functional V60 dose parameter (median 1.00%, P = .04) but at a detriment of a worse functional V5 (median 3.33%, P = .05).Conclusions:
This study demonstrates proof of principle that 4D-perfusion PET/CT may enable functional lung avoidance during treatment planning of patients with NSCLC. Radiotherapy plans adapted to well-perfused but not perfused functional lung volumes allow for reduction in dose to functional lung using 3D conformal radiotherapy.