Background: We designed a phase II trial for evaluation of the efficacy and tolerability of an accelerated concomitant boost radiotherapy scheme for the treatment of the patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: Thirty patients with unresectable stage IIIA/IIIB NSCLC were prospectively enrolled in this protocol. All patients were scheduled to receive 15 fractions of conventional radiotherapy in doses of 1.8 Gy, to a total of 27 Gy. For the last 10 treatment days, an accelerated concomitant boost schedule was started that was composed of 1.8 Gy/fraction/day, 5 days/week to the large field and 1.8 Gy/fraction/day to the boost field 6 h apart, to a total dose of 63 Gy/35 fractions/5 weeks.
Results: Median follow-up time was 13 months (range, 5-50 months; 3-year overall, disease-free, loco-regional disease-free and metastasis-free survivals were 23%, 19%, 19% and 23%, respectively). The most common acute toxicity was esophagitis in 31% of patients with the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (RTOG/EORTC) criteria grade 1, and in 54% with grade 2. Radiation pneumonitis developed in 16% of patients with RTOG/EORTC grade 1. Three-year actuarial rate of late pulmonary and skin-subcutaneous toxicity were 12% and 16%, respectively. No late radiotherapy complications of spinal cord or esophagus were recorded.
Conclusion: Overall survival, local control and freedom from local progression were comparable with the results reported with pure hyperfractionated radiotherapy. The overall rate of acute and late toxicity was acceptable.