Background The role of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in reducing treatment-related toxicity for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains incompletely defined. We compared acute toxicity and oncologic outcomes in a large cohort of patients treated with IMRT or 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3-DCRT), with or without elective nodal irradiation (ENI). Methods A single-institution retrospective review was performed evaluating 145 consecutive patients with histologically confirmed stage III NSCLC treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy. Sixty-five (44.8%) were treated with 3-DCRT using ENI, 43 (30.0%) with 3-DCRT using involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT), and 37 (25.5%) with IMRT using IFRT. All patients received concurrent chemotherapy. Comparison of acute toxicities by treatment technique (IMRT vs. 3-DCRT) and extent of nodal irradiation (3-DCRT-IFRT vs. 3-DCRT-ENI) was performed for grade 2 or higher esophagitis or pneumonitis, number of acute hospitalizations, incidence of opioid requirement, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy utilization, and percentage weight loss during treatment. Local control and overall survival were analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method. Results We identified no significant differences in any measures of acute toxicity by treatment technique or extent of nodal irradiation. There was a trend toward lower rates of grade 2 or higher pneumonitis among IMRT patients compared to 3-DCRT patients (5.4% vs. 23.0%; P =.065). Local control and overall survival were similar between cohorts. Conclusion Acute and subacute toxicities were similar for patients treated with IMRT and with 3-DCRT with or without ENI, with a nonsignificant trend toward a reduction in pneumonitis with IMRT. Larger studies are needed to better define which patients will benefit from IMRT.
- Elective nodal irradiation
- Non-small-cell lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine