Effects of radiotherapy planning with a dedicated combined PET-CT-simulator of patients with non-small cell lung cancer on dose limiting normal tissues and radiation dose-escalation: a planning study

Radiother Oncol. 2005 Oct;77(1):5-10. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2005.06.014. Epub 2005 Jul 12.


Background and purpose: To investigate the effect of radiotherapy planning with a dedicated combined PET-CT simulator of patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Patients and methods: Twenty-one patients underwent a pre-treatment simulation on a dedicated hybrid PET-CT-simulator. For each patient, two 3D conformal treatment plans were made: one with a CT based PTV and one with a PET-CT based PTV, both to deliver 60Gy in 30 fractions. The maximum tolerable prescribed radiation dose for CT versus PET-CT PTV was calculated based on constraints for the lung, the oesophagus, and the spinal cord, and the Tumour Control Probability (TCP) was estimated.

Results: For the same toxicity levels of the lung, oesophagus and spinal cord, the dose could be increased from 55.2+/-2.0Gy with CT planning to 68.9+/-3.3Gy with the use of PET-CT (P=0.002), with corresponding TCP's of 6.3+/-1.5% for CT and 24.0+/-5.6% for PET-CT planning (P=0.01).

Conclusions: The use of a combined dedicated PET-CT-simulator reduced radiation exposure of the oesophagus and the lung, and thus allowed significant radiation dose escalation whilst respecting all relevant normal tissue constraints.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Esophagitis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed