Background and aims: In a retrospective study using stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in medically inoperable patients with stage I NSCLC we previously reported a local control rate of 88% utilizing a median dose of 15Gyx3. This report records the toxicity encountered in a prospective phase II trial, and its relation to coexisting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardio vascular disease (CVD).
Material and methods: Sixty patients were entered in the study between August 2003 and September 2005. Fifty-seven patients (T1 65%, T2 35%) with a median age of 75 years (59-87 years) were evaluable. The baseline mean FEV1% was 64% and median Karnofsky index was 80. A total dose of 45Gy was delivered in three fractions at the 67% isodose of the PTV. Clinical, pulmonary and radiological evaluations were made at 6 weeks, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 36 months post-SBRT. Toxicity was graded according to CTC v2.0 and performance status was graded according to the Karnofsky scale.
Results: At a median follow-up of 23 months, 2 patients had relapsed locally. No grade 4 or 5 toxicity was reported. Grade 3 toxicity was seen in 12 patients (21%). There was no significant decline of FEV1% during follow-up. Low grade pneumonitis developed to the same extent in the CVD 3/17 (18%) and COPD 7/40 (18%) groups. The incidence of fibrosis was 9/17 (53%) and pleural effusions was 8/17 (47%) in the CVD group compared with 13/40 (33%) and 5/40 (13%) in the COPD group.
Conclusion: SBRT for stage I NSCLC patients who are medically inoperable because of COPD and CVD results in a favourable local control rate with a low incidence of grade 3 and no grade 4 or 5 toxicity.