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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 Sep 1;60(1):186-96.

Stereotactic radiotherapy for primary lung cancer and pulmonary metastases: a noninvasive treatment approach in medically inoperable patients.

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Department of Radiotherapy, University of Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneider-Strasse 11, D-97080 Wuerzburg, Germany.



The clinical results of dose escalation using stereotactic radiotherapy to increase local tumor control in medically inoperable patients with Stage I-II non-small-cell lung cancer or pulmonary metastases were evaluated.


Twenty patients with Stage I-II non-small-cell lung cancer and 41 patients with 51 pulmonary metastases not amenable to surgery were treated with stereotactic radiotherapy at 3 x 10 Gy (n = 19), 3 x 12-12.5 Gy to the planning target volume enclosing 100%-isodose, with normalization to 150% at the isocenter; n = 26) or 1 x 26 Gy to the planning target volume enclosing 80%-isodose (n = 26). The median follow-up was 11 months (range, 2-61 months) for primary lung cancer patients and 9 months (range, 2-37 months) for patients with metastases.


The actuarial local control rate was 92% for lung cancer patients and 80% for metastasis patients > or =1 year after treatment and was significantly improved by increasing the dose from 3 x 10 Gy to 3 x 12-12.5 Gy or 1 x 26 Gy (p = 0.038). The overall survival rate after 1 and 2 years was 52% and 32%, respectively, for lung cancer patients and 85% and 33%, respectively, for metastasis patients, impaired because of systemic disease progression. After 12 months, 60% of patients with primary lung cancer and 35% of patients with pulmonary metastases were without systemic progression. No severe acute or late toxicity was observed, and only 2 patients (3%) developed symptomatic Grade 2 pneumonitis, which was successfully treated with oral steroids.


Stereotactic radiotherapy for lung tumors offers a very effective treatment option locally without significant complications in medically impaired patients who are not amenable to surgery. Patient selection is important, because those with a low risk of systemic progression are more likely to benefit from this approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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