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Clin Lung Cancer. 2013 Jul;14(4):446-51. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 May 6.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy in patients with stage I non-small-cell lung cancer aged 75 years and older: retrospective results from a multicenter consortium.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA.



This study was a retrospective analysis of elderly patients treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in the setting of a multi-institutional consortium.


Three institutions pooled data on patients aged ≥ 75 years who received SBRT for stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Forty-seven tumors in 46 patients were analyzed in patients aged 75 to 92 years (median, 82 years). Treatment was delivered during 2007 to 2009, with a median follow-up of 12.4 months. All patients underwent staging positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT), and 87% of tumors were confirmed by biopsy results. Total doses were 35 to 60 Gy, mainly in 3 to 5 fractions. All tumors were treated using a linear accelerator, with 96% of patients receiving 3-dimensional (3D) conformal RT and 4% undergoing intensity modulated RT (IMRT).


At the time of analysis, the local failure rate was 2% (1 of 47). The regional failure rate was 9% (4 of 47). The distant failure rate was 6% (3 of 47). The combined failure rate was 15% (7 of 47) because 1 patient experienced both regional and distant failure. Among 20 tumors with any acute toxicity, there were no ≥ grade 3 toxicities. Pneumonitis (n = 10) grades 1 (n = 3) and 2 (n = 2) was seen in 15% and 10% of patients, respectively; these data were missing for 25% of patients.


SBRT in patients aged ≥ 75 years with stage I NSCLC proved tolerable, with toxicity rates comparable to those in younger patients. Excellent rates of local, regional, and distant control were achieved at a median follow-up of 12.4 months. This patient population represents a rapidly growing segment of the early lung cancer population, and SBRT appears to be a safe and effective treatment option for patients who are not optimal candidates for surgery.

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