Background: This study aimed to analyse the feasibility and acute toxicity of radical hypo-fractionated radiotherapy (RT) for elderly patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and methods: We conducted a retrospective evaluation of treatment with volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) of elderly patients affected by stage III inoperable NSCLC. The dose prescription was 56 Gy in 20 fractions, 55 Gy in 22 fractions, or 50 Gy in 20 fractions. Target volume included only the primary lesion and the infiltrated lymph nodes. The primary end point was acute and late toxicity, while secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Results: In all, 41 patients were included in this analysis. The mean age of the patients was 78.6 years, and 22 patients had staged IIIA while 19 patients had stage IIIB disease. All but one patient had pathological nodal involvement; 15 patients received chemotherapy before RT. Acute grade 1–2 toxicity was recorded in 25 (61%) patients. Late toxicity was recorded in 13 (32%) patients. No cases of G3 or G4 toxicity were recorded. Complete response was obtained in two (5%) patients, 26 (63%) showed a partial response, and two (5%) experience disease progression. At a mean follow-up of 9.9 months (range, 1.1–25.4), 17 patients had died from disease progression, one died from other causes, and 23 were alive. Median OS was 13.7 ± 1.5 months (95% CI: 10.7–16.7), OS at 12 and 18 months was 51.3 ± 9.5% and 35.1 ± 10.1%, respectively. Median PFS was 13.7 ± 2.3 months (95% CI: 9.1–18.2), and PFS at 12 and 18 months was 50.1 ± 9.9% and 38.9 ± 10.4%, respectively. Conclusion: Radical hypo-fractionated VMAT is a promising treatment for locally advanced NSCLC in the elderly. The use of hypo-fractionated radiotherapy for lung cancer in older patients can be considered a valuable approach, particularly for patients with poor performance status or refusing other treatment approaches.
- Non-small-cell lung cancer
- Progression-free survival
- Targeted radiation therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging