Low-dose hilar and mediastinal stereotactic body radiation therapy for non-small cell lung cancer: Analysis of outcomes in patients receiving one or multiple courses of treatment

Lung Cancer

Kowalchuk RO, et al. Thorac Cancer 2020.


BACKGROUND: This study reports the outcomes of a single institutional experience treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) involving the pulmonary hilum with low-dose stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). The authors also present a series of repeat hilar SBRT.

METHODS: Inclusion criteria required treatment with SBRT for NSCLC involving regional lymph nodes of the: (i) hilum, (ii) mediastinum, (iii) aortopulmonary window (station 5), or (iv) mainstem bronchus. At least one clinical follow-up with imaging was required, unless the patient had a prior documented death from cancer.

RESULTS: A total of 32 patients with 44 treatments were included, and 37 treatments targeted the hilum directly, with seven concerning the mediastinum, AP window, or mainstem bronchus. Median dose was 28 Gy in four fractions with once-weekly fractionation. At a median clinical follow-up of 23 months, local control was 64%. Median overall survival was 24 months, and median progression-free survival was 15 months. A total of 48% of treatments resulted in complete radiographic response on last imaging follow-up, and no cases of grade ≥ 3 toxicity were reported. For repeat SBRT (after prior hilar SBRT), local control was 92%. Median overall survival was 20 months, and median progression-free survival was 19 months. Complete radiographic response was noted after 58% of treatments, with 0 instances of progressive response and no reported side effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-dose hilar SBRT was efficacious and well-tolerated, with impressive overall survival and no grade ≥ 3 toxicity. Repeat treatments with SBRT were feasible and effective, demonstrating overall survival, local control, and toxicity comparable to primary treatments.

KEY POINTS: SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS OF THE STUDY: Low-dose hilar SBRT was efficacious and well-tolerated Repeated treatments with SBRT demonstrated encouraging results, comparable to primary treatments WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS: This study contributes to the small body of literature concerning hilar SBRT Repeat hilar SBRT was safe and feasible Toxicity was minimal with low-dose SBRT Once-weekly fractionation may have contributed to low rate of side effects.