Purpose: As local tumour control is poor in stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a radiotherapy planning study was performed to evaluate the potential for treatment acceleration by using a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) technique in patients who had completed induction chemotherapy. Methods and materials: Co-registered pre- and post-chemotherapy planning CT scans from 10 patients who showed tumour regression after induction chemotherapy were used to compare different treatment schedules: (a) a sequential boost plan delivering, in 2 Gy per fraction, 50 Gy to the pre-chemotherapy tumour volume, followed by a sequential boost of 20 Gy to the post-chemotherapy tumour volume; (b) a SIB technique in which the pre- and post-chemotherapy tumour volumes were treated to different dose levels during each treatment fraction using identical total doses and number of fractions as above; (c) progressively more hypofractionated schedules that delivered the SIB technique in 25 and 20 once-daily fractions; (d) the actual clinical treatment plan in which 70 Gy was delivered to the pre-chemotherapy tumour volume in 35 daily fractions. Differences in the fractionation schemes used for these plans were accounted for by using the normalised total dose (NTD) for comparison, thereby assuming an α/β ratio of 10 Gy for tumour and 3 Gy for normal tissues. The risk of normal tissue toxicity was estimated using the average lung NTD, the lung volume receiving NTD >20 Gy, the oesophageal volume receiving NTD >50 Gy, and the length of full circumference irradiated to at least 50 Gy. Results: With respect to the sequential boost technique, the SIB technique improved the sparing of the normal tissues in all patients. In most patients, the SIB plan could also be delivered in 25 fractions without increasing the estimated normal tissue toxicity. With SIB25, the mean lung NTD was reduced from 12.1 to 11.7 Gy, and the fraction of healthy lung tissue receiving NTD >20 Gy by 2% on average. Although the length and volume of oesophagus irradiated to at least 50 Gy increased for some of the patients, the observed values were less than that was the case for the actual delivered treatment. However, special care should be taken to avoid exceeding the spinal cord tolerance in patients whose tumours are located close to the cord. Conclusions: A SIB technique that delivers at least 50 Gy to the pre-chemotherapy tumour volume permits accelerated radiotherapy in patients with stage III NSCLC without increasing the expected risks of normal tissue toxicity. By reducing the overall treatment time, the SIB technique may improve local tumour control and survival.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2004.01.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/65064
Lung Cancer
Department of Radiation Oncology

Dirkx, M.L.P, Van Sörnsen De Koste, J.R, & Senan, S. (2004). A treatment planning study evaluating a 'simultaneous integrated boost' technique for accelerated radiotherapy of stage III non-small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer, 45(1), 57–65. doi:10.1016/j.lungcan.2004.01.003