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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Jun 1;56(2):335-41.

Stereotactic single-dose radiotherapy of stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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  • 1Department of Radiological Diagnostics and Therapy, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.



The treatment of early-stage lung cancers is a primary domain of thoracic surgery, leading to persuasive results. In patients with medical contraindications, radiotherapy is an alternative, although with considerably worse outcome. Radiotherapy is associated with the risk of severe acute side effects and a permanent decrease of lung function. By the introduction of an extracranial stereotactic treatment technique, the amount of normal tissue in the high-dose region can be reduced, allowing the performance of single-dose treatment with high, biologically effective doses.


Between October 1998 and May 2001, 10 patients with histologically confirmed Stage I non-small-cell lung cancer were treated with stereotactic single-dose radiotherapy. A self-developed stereotactic frame was used for patient positioning and navigation. Total doses applied ranged from 19 to 26 Gy. After treatment, regular CT-based follow-up was performed.


During a median follow-up period of 14.9 months, the tumors in 8 of 10 patients were locally controlled. The actuarial overall survival was 80% and 64%, respectively, 12 and 24 months after therapy. Actuarial local recurrence-free survival reached 88.9% and 71.1%, respectively. Therapy-related perifocal normal-tissue reaction occurred in 70% of all treated patients, although no major clinical symptoms were seen. In 5 patients, systemic metastases were found during follow-up; 1 patient developed suspect mediastinal lymph nodes.


Stereotactic single-fraction radiotherapy is a feasible, safe, and effective procedure for the treatment of Stage I non-small-cell lung cancer. It promises high local control with a reduced overall treatment time. However, further investigation in a larger patient collective with extended follow-up is necessary.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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