Purpose: Radiation therapy (RT) improves control of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), but patients who undergo RT are at risk for late effects, including cardiovascular disease and second cancers, because of radiation doses to organs at risk (OARs). Proton therapy (PT) can reduce OAR doses compared with conventional photon RT. However, access to PT is currently limited, so referrals must be appropriately selective. We aimed to identify subgroups of patients with HL who could benefit the most dosimetrically from RT with PT based on the prechemotherapy disease characteristics.
Methods and materials: Normal tissue radiation doses were calculated for 21 patients with HL who were treated with deep-inspiration breath-hold pencil-beam scanning (PBS) PT and compared with doses from 3-dimensional conformal (3D-CRT) and partial arc volumetric modulated (PartArc) photon RT. Prechemotherapy disease characteristics associated with significant dosimetric benefits from PBS compared with photon RT were identified.
Results: Treatment with PBS was well tolerated and provided with good local control. PBS provided dosimetric advantages for patients whose clinical treatment volume extended below the seventh thoracic level and for female patients with axillary disease. In addition, an increasing dosimetric benefit for some OARs was observed for increasing target volume. PBS significantly reduced the mean dose to the heart, breast, lungs, spinal cord, and esophagus. Dose homogeneity and conformity within the target volume were also superior with PBS, but some high-dose measures and hot spots were increased with PBS compared with partial arc volumetric modulated photon RT.
Conclusions: PBS gives good target coverage and local control while providing reductions in radiation dose to OARs for individuals who receive RT for HL compared with advanced photon RT. Our findings highlight groups of patients who would be expected to gain more dosimetric benefit from PBS. These findings facilitate the selection of patients who should be considered a priority for PT.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.