Spatial Dose Patterns Associated With Radiation Pneumonitis in a Randomized Trial Comparing Intensity-Modulated Photon Therapy With Passive Scattering Proton Therapy for Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Giuseppe Palma, Serena Monti, Ting Xu, Emanuele Scifoni, Pei Yang, Stephen M. Hahn, Marco Durante, Radhe Mohan, Zhongxing Liao, Laura Cella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Radiation pneumonitis (RP) is commonly associated with thoracic radiation therapy, and its incidence is related to dose and volume of the normal lung in the path of radiation. Our aim was to investigate dose patterns associated with RP in patients enrolled in a randomized trial of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) versus passive scattering proton therapy (PSPT) for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Methods: We analyzed 178 patients prospectively treated with PSPT or IMRT for non-small cell lung cancer to a prescribed dose of 66 or 74 Gy in conventional daily fractionation with concurrent chemotherapy. Forty patients (22%) developed clinically symptomatic RP. Voxel-based analysis of local dose differences was done with a nonparametric permutation test accounting for multiple comparisons. From the obtained 3-dimensional significance maps, we derived clusters of voxels that exhibited dose differences between groups at a statistical significance level of 0.05. Results: The voxel-based analysis highlighted that (1) significant dose differences between patients with and without RP were found in the lower part of the lungs and in the heart and (2) the anatomic regions significantly spared by PSPT and the clusters in which doses were significantly correlated with RP development were disjoint. Conclusions: The analyzed trial data provide an unprecedented opportunity to substantiate previous hypotheses regarding the role of the heart and the lower lungs in the development of RP. Knowledge of this relationship between RP and thoracic regional radiosensitivity should be considered in clinical practice and in the design of future trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1132
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume104
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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