Purpose: To investigate the potential clinical benefit of utilizing intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) to reduce acute hematologic toxicity for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) patients and explore the feasibility of a model-based patient selection approach via the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP).
Methods: Twenty patients with LA-NSCLC were retrospectively selected. Volumetric modulated arc photon therapy (VMAT) and IMPT plans were generated with a prescription dose of 60 Gy in 30 fractions. A wide range of cases with varied tumor size, location, stations of metastatic lymph nodes were selected to represent the general cancer group. Contouring and treatment planning followed RTOG-1308 protocol. Doses to thoracic vertebral bodies (TVB) and other organ at risks were compared. Risk of grade ≥ 3 acute hematologic toxicity (HT3+) were calculated based on the NTCP model, and patients with a reduction on NTCP of HT3+ from VMAT to IMPT (△NTCP_HT3+) ≥ 10% were considered to 'significantly benefit from proton therapy.'
Results: Compared to VMAT, IMPT significantly reduced the dose to the TVB, the lung, the heart, the esophagus and the spinal cord. Tumor distance to TVB was significantly associated with △NTCP _HT3+ ≥ 10%. For the patients with tumor distance ≤ 0.7 cm to TVB, the absolute reduction of dose (mean, V30 and V40) to TVB was significantly lower than that in patients with tumor distance > 0.7 cm.
Conclusion: IMPT decreased the probability of HT3+ compared to VMAT by reducing the dose to the TVB in LA-NSCLC patients. Patients with tumor distance to TVB less than 0.7 cm are likely to benefit most from proton over photon therapy.
Keywords: IMPT; NSCLC; NTCP; VMAT; hematologic toxicity.
Copyright © 2022 Cao, Liu, Gao, Shang, Liu, Wang, Su and Ding.