Background: Recent developments in radiotherapeutic technology have resulted in a new approach to treating patients with localized lung cancer. We report preliminary clinical outcomes using stereotactic radiosurgery with real-time tumor motion tracking to treat small peripheral lung tumors. Methods: Eligible patients were treated over a 24-month period and followed for a minimum of 6 months. Fiducials (3-5) were placed in or near tumors under CT-guidance. Non-isocentric treatment plans with 5-mm margins were generated. Patients received 45-60 Gy in 3 equal fractions delivered in less than 2 weeks. CT imaging and routine pulmonary function tests were completed at 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 months. Results: Twenty-four consecutive patients were treated, 15 with stage I lung cancer and 9 with single lung metastases. Pneumothorax was a complication of fiducial placement in 7 patients, requiring tube thoracostomy in 4. All patients completed radiation treatment with minimal discomfort, few acute side effects and no procedure-related mortalities. Following treatment transient chest wall discomfort, typically lasting several weeks, developed in 7 of 11 patients with lesions within 5 mm of the pleura. Grade III pneumonitis was seen in 2 patients, one with prior conventional thoracic irradiation and the other treated with concurrent Gefitinib. A small statistically significant decline in the mean % predicted DLCO was observed at 6 and 12 months. All tumors responded to treatment at 3 months and local failure was seen in only 2 single metastases. There have been no regional lymph node recurrences. At a median follow-up of 12 months, the crude survival rate is 83%, with 3 deaths due to co-morbidities and 1 secondary to metastatic disease. Conclusion: Radical stereotactic radiosurgery with real-time tumor motion tracking is a promising well-tolerated treatment option for small peripheral lung tumors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging