Stereotactic body radiation therapy for centrally located lung lesions

Melissa Joyner, Bill J. Salter, Niko Papanikolaou, Martin Fuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Presentation of outcomes of patients treated by stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for lung lesions located within or touching a 2 cm zone around major airways. Serial tomotherapeutic SBRT has been planned and delivered at our institution since August 2001. Of 108 patients treated for primary and secondary lung tumors, nine harbored tumors (8 metastases, 1 recurrent NSCLC) located in close proximity to carina, right and left main bronchi, right and left upper lobe bronchi, intermedius, right middle lobe, lingular, or right and left lower lobe bronchi. SBRT was delivered to total doses of 36 Gy in 3 fractions (n = 8) or 6 fractions (n = 1), using a serial tomotherapy system (Nomos Peacock). We assessed local tumor control, clinical toxicity, normal tissue imaging changes, and overall survival. Median tumor volume was 26 cm 3 (range 1.7 to 135 cm3). Tumor locations were hilar (n = 3), and parenchymal in six cases. Hilar lesions accounted for the three largest tumor volumes in the series. During a median follow-up of 10.6 months (range 2.5 to 41.5 months), all lesions treated were locally controlled as confirmed by CT or CT/PET imaging. Parenchymal imaging changes included focal lung fibrosis and major airway wall thickening. One occurrence of major airway occlusion (right lower lobe bronchus) was observed. This event was diagnosed by chest x-ray at 36 months, following treatment of the second largest hilar lesion in the present series. Based on the outcomes observed in this small sample series, SBRT for centrally located lung lesions appears feasible, was associated with low incidence of toxicities, and provided sustained local tumor control. However, long-term survival may be associated with major airway injury. As long-term follow-up in larger numbers of patients is lacking at this time, exclusion of patients with centrally located lesions may be considered when patients are treated in curative intent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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