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Front Oncol. 2012 Feb 1;2:9. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2012.00009. eCollection 2012.

CyberKnife with Tumor Tracking: An Effective Treatment for High-Risk Surgical Patients with Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

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Department of Radiation Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital Washington, DC, USA.


Published data suggests that wedge resection for stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with improved overall survival compared to stereotactic body radiation therapy. We report CyberKnife outcomes for high-risk surgical patients with biopsy-proven stage I NSCLC. PET/CT imaging was completed for staging. Three-to-five gold fiducial markers were implanted in or near tumors to serve as targeting references. Gross tumor volumes (GTVs) were contoured using lung windows; the margins were expanded by 5 mm to establish the planning treatment volume (PTV). Treatment plans were designed using a mean of 156 pencil beams. Doses delivered to the PTV ranged from 42 to 60 Gy in three fractions. The 30 Gy isodose contour extended at least 1 cm from the GTV to eradicate microscopic disease. Treatments were delivered using the CyberKnife system with tumor tracking. Examination and PET/CT imaging occurred at 3 month follow-up intervals. Forty patients (median age 76) with a median maximum tumor diameter of 2.6 cm (range, 1.4-5.0 cm) and a mean post-bronchodilator percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) of 57% (range, 21-111%) were treated. A median dose of 48 Gy was delivered to the PTV over 3-13 days (median, 7 days). The 30 Gy isodose contour extended a mean 1.9 cm from the GTV. At a median 44 months (range, 12-72 months) follow-up, the 3 year Kaplan-Meier locoregional control and overall survival estimates compare favorably with contemporary wedge resection outcomes at 91 and 75%, respectively. CyberKnife is an effective treatment approach for stage I NSCLC that is similar to wedge resection, eradicating tumors with 1-2 cm margins in order to preserve lung function. Prospective randomized trials comparing CyberKnife with wedge resection are necessary to confirm equivalence.


CyberKnife; non-small cell lung cancer; stereotactic body radiation therapy; wedge resection

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