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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Dec 1;84(5):1093-100. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.02.041. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Adaptive/nonadaptive proton radiation planning and outcomes in a phase II trial for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.



To analyze dosimetric variables and outcomes after adaptive replanning of radiation therapy during concurrent high-dose protons and chemotherapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Nine of 44 patients with stage III NSCLC in a prospective phase II trial of concurrent paclitaxel/carboplatin with proton radiation [74 Gy(RBE) in 37 fractions] had modifications to their original treatment plans after re-evaluation revealed changes that would compromise coverage of the target volume or violate dose constraints; plans for the other 35 patients were not changed. We compared patients with adaptive plans with those with nonadaptive plans in terms of dosimetry and outcomes.


At a median follow-up of 21.2 months (median overall survival, 29.6 months), no differences were found in local, regional, or distant failure or overall survival between groups. Adaptive planning was used more often for large tumors that shrank to a greater extent (median, 107.1 cm(3) adaptive and 86.4 cm(3) nonadaptive; median changes in volume, 25.3% adaptive and 1.2% nonadaptive; P<.01). The median number of fractions delivered using adaptive planning was 13 (range, 4-22). Adaptive planning generally improved sparing of the esophagus (median absolute decrease in V(70), 1.8%; range, 0%-22.9%) and spinal cord (median absolute change in maximum dose, 3.7 Gy; range, 0-13.8 Gy). Without adaptive replanning, target coverage would have been compromised in 2 cases (57% and 82% coverage without adaptation vs 100% for both with adaptation); neither patient experienced local failure. Radiation-related grade 3 toxicity rates were similar between groups.


Adaptive planning can reduce normal tissue doses and prevent target misses, particularly for patients with large tumors that shrink substantially during therapy. Adaptive plans seem to have acceptable toxicity and achieve similar local, regional, and distant control and overall survival, even in patients with larger tumors, vs nonadaptive plans.


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