Clinical and radiological features driving patient selection for antiangiogenic therapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Cesare Gridelli, Andrea Camerini, Giovanni Pappagallo, Angelo Pennella, Michele Anzidei, Massimo Bellomi, Roberta Buosi, Rosario Francesco Grasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The use of antiangiogenic therapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) requires thorough evaluation of patient characteristics in order to avoid potential safety issues, particularly pulmonary haemorrhage (PH). The aim of this consensus by a panel of experts was to identify important criteria for the selection of patients with NSCLC who would benefit from antiangiogenic therapy. Methods: Radiologists and oncologists were selected for the expert panel. The nominal group technique (NGT) and the Delphi questionnaire were used for consensus generation. The NGT consisted of four steps, the result of which was used to set the Delphi questionnaire. A final report was generated based on the opinions of the experts from the panel. Results: An extremely important prerequisite for the evaluation of an antiangiogenic therapeutic approach in patients with NSCLC was thorough clinical and radiological analysis of the relationships between tumour and vascular or anatomical structures (performed in close co-operation by oncologists and radiologists). The panel identified major parameters to be considered before the use of antiangiogenic treatment, collectively agreeing on the relevance of tumour cavitation, vascular infiltration, endobronchial growth and thromboembolism for chest tumour sites, and of the presence of aneurysms, extra-thoracic bleeding, brain metastases or thrombi for extra-thoracic sites. Moreover, a structured report containing information not only on the tumour but also on the general vascular status is essential to guide the treatment choice The experts agreed that tumour localization in the absence of vessel infiltration, cavitation, and the use of antiplatelet therapy are relevant parameters to be assessed, but their presence should not necessarily exclude a patient from receiving antiangiogenic therapy. Conclusion: Close co-operation between oncologists and radiologists in the diagnosis, treatment selection, and assessment of response is essential for ensuring therapeutic appropriateness in the NSCLC setting. It should be noted that neither the use of antiplatelet therapy nor tumour localisation are to be considered as contraindications to antiangiogenic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 28 2016


  • Antiangiogenic therapy
  • Clinical features
  • Delphi questionnaire
  • Nominal group technique
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Pulmonary haemorrhage
  • Radiological features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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