A prospective study of quality of life including fatigue and pulmonary function after stereotactic body radiotherapy for medically inoperable early-stage lung cancer

Support Care Cancer. 2013 Jan;21(1):211-8. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1513-9. Epub 2012 Jun 2.


Purpose: The study seeks to prospectively evaluate pulmonary function and quality of life (QOL) in medically inoperable early-stage lung cancer patients undergoing stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).

Methods: QOL was assessed by Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) and the UCSD Medical Center Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Shortness-of-Breath Questionnaire before and after SBRT at 6 weeks, and every 3 months until 12 months. Clinical investigations included pulmonary functions tests and blood profile and chemistries. SBRT was delivered on a Novalis/BrainLab system.

Results: Twenty-one analyzable patients were enrolled between July 2008 to April 2009. There were 12 males (52.4 %), 14 patients (66.7 %) had Zubrod performance 1, the median age was 77 years (range 61-90), and 87 % was inoperable because of pulmonary impairment. Median tumor size was 3.0 cm (range 1-4.6). Median follow-up was 17.6 months. One-year local control was 100 %. There were no significant changes in the median total FACT-L scores: 109 at baseline compared to 112 at 1 year. Mean UCSD scores were not significant for the year. No significant changes in mean baseline compared to 1-year FEV1 and 6-min walks as % predicted were seen but a significant DLCO change (p = 0.012) was attributed to the decreased range in the standard deviations.

Conclusions: Following SBRT, QOL is not significantly degraded. Pulmonary function is likewise not significantly impaired overall. Along with favorable survival results, these findings confirm that SBRT is appropriate for this patient population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiosurgery* / adverse effects
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States