Higher Dose Volumes May Be Better for Evaluating Radiation Pneumonitis in Lung Proton Therapy Patients Compared With Traditional Photon-Based Dose Constraints

Adv Radiat Oncol. 2020 Jun 29;5(5):943-950. doi: 10.1016/j.adro.2020.06.023. eCollection 2020 Sep-Oct.


PURPOSE: The dosimetric parameters used clinically to reduce the likelihood of radiation pneumonitis (RP) for lung cancer radiation therapy have traditionally been V20Gy ≤ 30% to 35% and mean lung dose ≤ 20 to 23 Gy; however, these parameters are derived based on studies from photon therapy. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether such dosimetric predictors for RP are applicable for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) patients treated with proton therapy.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: In the study, 160 (78 photon, 82 proton) patients with LA-NSCLC treated with chemoradiotherapy between 2011 and 2016 were retrospectively identified. Forty (20 photon, 20 proton) patients exhibited grade ≥2 RP after therapy. Dose volume histograms for the uninvolved lung were extracted for each patient. The percent lung volumes receiving above various dose levels were obtained in addition to V20Gy and Dmean. These dosimetric parameters and patient characteristics were evaluated with univariate and multivariate logistic regression tests. Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to obtain the optimal dosimetric constraints through analyzing RP and non-RP sensitivity and specificity values.

RESULTS: The multivariate analysis showed V40Gy and Dmean to be statistically significant for proton and photon patients, respectively. V35Gy to V50Gy were strongly correlated to V40Gy for proton patients. Based on the receiver operating characteristic curves, V35Gy to V50Gy had the highest area under the curve compared with other dose levels for proton patients. A potential dosimetric constraint for RP predictor in proton patients is V40Gy ≤ 23%.

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to V20Gy and Dmean, the lung volume receiving higher doses, such as V40Gy, may be used as an additional indicator for RP in LA-NSCLC patients treated with proton therapy.

PMID:33083657 | PMC:PMC7557193 | DOI:10.1016/j.adro.2020.06.023