Isolated progression of metastatic lung cancer: Clinical outcomes associated with definitive radiotherapy

Lung Cancer

Cancer. 2020 Jul 30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33109. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Progressive, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) often requires the initiation of new systemic therapy. However, in patients with NSCLC that is oligoprogressive (≤3 lesions), local radiotherapy (RT) may allow for the eradication of resistant microclones and, therefore, the continuation of otherwise effective systemic therapy.

METHODS: Patients treated from 2008 to 2019 with definitive doses of RT to all sites of intracranial or extracranial oligoprogression without a change in systemic therapy were identified. Radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) and time to new therapy (TNT) were measured. Associations between baseline clinical and treatment-related variables were correlated with progression-free survival via Cox proportional hazards modeling.

RESULTS: Among 198 unique patients, 253 oligoprogressive events were identified. Intracranial progression occurred in 51% of the patients, and extracranial progression occurred in 49%. In the entire cohort, the median rPFS was 7.9 months (95% CI, 6.5-10.0 months), and the median TNT was 8.8 months (95% CI, 7.2-10.9 months). On adjusted modeling, patients with the following disease characteristics were associated with better rPFS: better performance status (P = .003), fewer metastases (P = .03), longer time to oligoprogression (P = .009), and fewer previous systemic therapies (P = .02). Having multiple sites of oligoprogression was associated with worse rPFS (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: In select patients with oligoprogression, definitive RT is a feasible treatment option to delay the initiation of next-line systemic therapies, which have more limited response rates and efficacy. Further randomized prospective data may help to validate these findings and identify which patients are most likely to benefit.