Radiation pneumonitis (RP) is the most common subacute side effect after concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Several clinical and dose-volume (DV) parameters are associated with a distinct risk of symptomatic RP. The aim of this study was to assess the spatial dose distribution of the RP volume from first occurence to maximum volume expansion of RP.
Between 2007 and 2015, 732 patients with lung cancer were treated in an institution. Thirty-three patients met the following inclusion criteria: an RP grade II after CRT and a radiation dose ≥60 Gy and no prior medical history of cardiopulmonary comorbidities. The images of the first chest computed tomography (CT) confirming the diagnosis of RP and the CT images showing the maximum expansion of RP were merged with the treatment plan. The RP volume was delineated within the treatment plan, and a DV analysis was performed to evaluate the lung dose volume areas in which the RP manifested over time and whether dose volume changes within the RP volume occurred.
A change from clinical diagnosis to maximum expansion of RP was observed as the RP at clinical appearance mainly manifested in the lower dose areas of the lung, whereas the RP volume at maximum expansion manifested in the higher dose areas, resulting in a significant shift of the assessed relative mean dose volume proportions within the RP volume. The mean relative dose volume proportion 0- ≤ 20 Gy decreased from 30.2% (range, 0–100) to 21.9% (range, 0–100; p = 0.04) at the expense of the dose volume > 40 Gy which increased from 39.2% (range, 0–100) to 49.8% (range, 0–100; p = 0.02), whereas the dose relative volume proportion > 20- ≤ 40 Gy showed no relevant change and slightly decreased from 30.6% (range, 0–85.7) to 28.3%, (range, 0–85.7; p = 0.34).
We observed a considerable increase in the relative dose proportions within the RP volume from diagnosis to maximum volume extent from low dose zones below 20 Gy to zones above 40 Gy. Although the clinical impact on RP remains unknown, a reduction of healthy healthy lung tissue receiving >40 Gy (V40) might be an additional parameter for irradiation planning in lung cancer patients.
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- Temporal and spatial dose distribution of radiation pneumonitis after concurrent radiochemotherapy in stage III non-small cell cancer patients
- BioMed Central
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