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Clin Lung Cancer. 2008 Jul;9(4):217-21. doi: 10.3816/CLC.2008.n.032.

Fractionated stereotactic body radiation therapy in the treatment of primary, recurrent, and metastatic lung tumors: the role of positron emission tomography/computed tomography-based treatment planning.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA.



The aim of this study was to assess the outcomes of patients treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in patients with primary, recurrent, or metastatic lung lesions, with a focus on positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT)-based management.


Fifty-one patients with primary stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC; n = 26), recurrent lung cancer after definitive treatment (n = 12), or solitary lung metastases (n = 13) were treated with SBRT between 2005 and 2007. Patients were treated with the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System with Synchrony respiratory tracking. A dose of 60 Gy was delivered in 3 fractions. All patients had CT or PET/CT performed at approximately 3-month intervals after treatment.


The median follow-up was 12 months. Local control at median follow-up was 85% in patients with stage I NSCLC, 92% in patients with recurrent lung cancer, and 62% in the patients with solitary lung metastasis. Analysis of the 28 patients with pre- and post-treatment PET/CT scans demonstrated that those with stable disease (n = 4) had a mean standardized uptake value (SUV) decrease of 28%, partial responders (n = 11) had a decrease of 48%, and patients with a complete response (n = 11) had a decrease of 94%. Patients with progressive disease (n = 2) had an SUV decrease of only 0.4%. Only 2 patients (7%) who had reduced fluorodeoxyglucose avidity later progressed locally. No correlations were found between pretreatment SUV and tumor response, disease progression, or survival. Overall 1-year survival rates were 81%, 67%, and 85% among the patients with primary NSCLC, recurrent lung cancer, and solitary lung metastases, respectively.


Stereotactic body radiation therapy with CyberKnife is an effective treatment for patients with medically inoperable recurrent or metastatic lung cancer. Positron emission tomography/CT is valuable in staging, planning, and evaluating treatment response and might predict long-term outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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