Purpose: Patients with centrally located early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are at a higher risk of toxicity from high-dose ablative radiotherapy. NRG Oncology/RTOG 0813 was a phase I/II study designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), efficacy, and toxicity of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for centrally located NSCLC.
Materials and methods: Medically inoperable patients with biopsy-proven, positron emission tomography-staged T1 to 2 (≤ 5 cm) N0M0 centrally located NSCLC were accrued into a dose-escalating, five-fraction SBRT schedule that ranged from 10 to 12 Gy/fraction (fx) delivered over 1.5 to 2 weeks. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as any treatment-related grade 3 or worse predefined toxicity that occurred within the first year. MTD was defined as the SBRT dose at which the probability of DLT was closest to 20% without exceeding it.
Results: One hundred twenty patients were accrued between February 2009 and September 2013. Patients were elderly, there were slightly more females, and the majority had a performance status of 0 to 1. Most cancers were T1 (65%) and squamous cell (45%). Organs closest to planning target volume/most at risk were the main bronchus and large vessels. Median follow-up was 37.9 months. Five patients experienced DLTs; MTD was 12.0 Gy/fx, which had a probability of a DLT of 7.2% (95% CI, 2.8% to 14.5%). Two-year rates for the 71 evaluable patients in the 11.5 and 12.0 Gy/fx cohorts were local control, 89.4% (90% CI, 81.6% to 97.4%) and 87.9% (90% CI, 78.8% to 97.0%); overall survival, 67.9% (95% CI, 50.4% to 80.3%) and 72.7% (95% CI, 54.1% to 84.8%); and progression-free survival, 52.2% (95% CI, 35.3% to 66.6%) and 54.5% (95% CI, 36.3% to 69.6%), respectively.
Conclusion: The MTD for this study was 12.0 Gy/fx; it was associated with 7.2% DLTs and high rates of tumor control. Outcomes in this medically inoperable group of mostly elderly patients with comorbidities were comparable with that of patients with peripheral early-stage tumors.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00750269.