Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) as salvage treatment for early stage lung cancer with interstitial lung disease (ILD): An observational and exploratory case series of non-asian patients

Respir Med Res. 2022 Dec 9;83:100984. doi: 10.1016/j.resmer.2022.100984. Online ahead of print.


Interstitial lung disease (ILD) can coexist with early-stage lung cancer (LC) and may compromise surgery and worsen patients' outcomes. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is the gold standard treatment for medically inoperable early-stage lung cancer, but radiation therapy is contra-indicated for patients with ILD because of the higher risk of severe radiation-induced pneumonitis. SBRT may spare healthy lung tissue, but data are scarce in this rare population. Our exploratory case series aimed to retrospectively identify patients treated with SBRT in this setting: 19 patients were diagnosed with early-stage LC-ILD over the past 6 years and 9 received SBRT. Most of them were smokers with a median age of 71, 4 had no pathological documentation. After SBRT, 5 patients had grade I-II respiratory adverse events (AEs), but none had treatment-related grade III-IV respiratory AEs. Two patients died within 6 months of SBRT, and for both, death was related to metastatic relapse. In this case series, the radiological evolution of ILD before radiotherapy and the evolution of the radiotherapy scar on CT-Scan were also explored with different evolutionary models. This exploratory study shows available data that could be studied in a larger retrospective cohort to identify risk factors for SBRT in the LC-ILD population. The use of dosimetric data as a risk factor for SBRT should be done with cautiousness due to heterogeneous and complex dose delivery and different fractionation schedule.

Keywords: Carcinoma; Follow-up studies; Interstitial lung disease; Non-small cell lung; Stereotactic radiation therapy.