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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 May 1;83(1):e129-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.11.055.

Safety and efficacy of thoracic external beam radiotherapy after airway stenting in malignant airway obstruction.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. nrochet@partners.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We retrospectively evaluated the outcome and toxicity of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) after airway stents were placed in patients treated for malignant airway obstruction.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Between 2004 and 2009, we performed airway stenting followed by EBRT in 43 patients for symptomatic primary lung cancer (n = 31) or other thoracic malignancies (n = 12). The median time interval between stent placement and first irradiation was 14 days. A median total dose of 50 Gy was delivered. Sixty-seven percent of the patients had reduced performance status (Karnofsky performance score, ≤70).

RESULTS:

EBRT had to be stopped prematurely in 16 patients (37%), at a median total dose of 17 Gy, for various reasons. In this group of patients, the survival was poor, with a median overall survival (OS) of only 21 days. Twenty-seven patients (63%) completed radiotherapy as planned, with a median OS of 8.4 months. Fourteen of 43 patients (33%) developed at least one Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Event of grade 3 to 5. The most common event was a malignant restenosis of the stent leading to asphyxia (n = 7), followed by fistula formation (n = 4), necrosis (n = 3), mediastinitis with abscess (n = 1), secondary nonmalignant airway stenosis (n = 1), and hemoptysis (n = 1). With the exception of one event, all events were associated with a local progression of the tumor.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the long-term prognosis for patients with malignant airway obstruction is poor, airway stenting combined with EBRT offers a possible therapeutic option, achieving fast relief of acute respiratory distress with an associated antitumor effect, resulting in a potential survival benefit. However, due to local advanced tumor growth, increased rates of adverse events are to be expected, necessitating careful monitoring.

PMID:
22516383
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.11.055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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