Introduction: This study aimed to assess the safety of high doses of radiation delivered with tomotherapy to the intact lung after radical pleurectomy/decortication or biopsy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).
Methods: Twenty-eight patients were enrolled in this prospective study and underwent adjuvant or definitive tomotherapy after radical pleurectomy/decortication (n = 20) or pleural biopsy (n = 8) for MPM. The dose prescribed to the planning target volume, defined as the entire hemithorax, including chest-wall incisions and drain sites and excluding the intact lung, was 50 Gy delivered in 25 fractions. All patients underwent fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography for staging after surgery. Any fluorodeoxyglucose-avid areas or regions of particular concern for residual disease were given a simultaneous boost of radiotherapy to 60 Gy. Specific lung dosimetric parameters were reported. Toxicity was graded using the modified Common Toxicity Criteria version 3.0.
Results: The median follow-up was of 19 months (range, 6-29 months). Five patients (17.8%) experienced severe respiratory symptoms corresponding to grade 2 pneumonitis in three cases, and grade 3 pneumonitis in two cases. No fatal respiratory toxicity was reported. Controlateral lung V5 was strongly correlated with the risk of pneumonitis. Patients who developed grade 2 and 3 pneumonitis had a higher controlateral lung V5 (mean V5=32%) than those without pneumonitis (mean V5=17%) (p=0.002). Other two grade 3 toxicities were registered: one severe pain to the chest wall, and one severe thrombocytopenia.
Conclusions: Tomotherapy allows the safe delivery of high dose of radiation to the hemithorax of MPM patients with intact lung.