Assessing Patterns of Practice in Early-State Lung Cancer Radiation Therapy: Findings From a Large Statewide Consortium Study on Hypofractionation

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Conference Proceeding

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International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics


Purpose/Objective(s): There are many different acceptable radiation dose and fractionation regimens for the treatment of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), including hypofractionation (HypoRT). There are limited data supporting when to use HypoRT. We investigated which factors led physicians to choose HypoRT rather than stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) or conventional fractionation (CRT) for early-stage NSCLC patients in a statewide consortium. Materials/Methods: We examined patients with T1-3N0M0 NSCLC treated at multiple institutions in a statewide consortium from January 2012-July 2022. We classified treatments as SBRT if 5 fractions or fewer, HypoRT if 6-20 fractions, and CRT if 1.8-2 Gy per fraction (Gy/Fx) for 25 or greater fractions. We excluded patients between 20 and 25 fractions as most appeared to be CRT that did not finish treatment (5% of total). We then performed a classification tree using age, race, gender, smoking status, T stage, PTV within 2cm of esophagus, PTV within 2cm of heart, and concurrent chemotherapy as covariates with a three-variable output (SBRT, HypoRT, and CRT). We excluded ECOG as it was not significant on initial analysis and was missing for 100 patients. We also reran the classification tree without CRT as an output to better discriminate between SBRT and HypoRT. Results: A total of 418 patients were included in the analysis. 184 patients had T1, 123 with T2, and 111 with T3 tumors. In total, 228 patients underwent SBRT (median 50 Gy), 51 patients HypoRT (median 60 Gy), and 139 CRT (median 63 Gy). Covariates significant for discriminating between all three treatment regimens included T2, T3 vs T1, PTV within 2cm of the esophagus, and T3 vs T2. 94% of T1 patients were treated with SBRT. Among T2 and T3 patients, those within 2cm of the esophagus were significantly more likely to be treated with CRT or HypoRT (80% vs 15%). Patients with T3 tumor not within 2cm of the esophagus, were more likely to be treated with CRT or HypoRT than the T2 patients (85% vs 36%). Patients treated with CRT were also more likely to receive chemotherapy, particularly for T3 tumors (80% received concurrent chemotherapy). Excluding CRT as an output variable, proximity to the heart became significant in addition to the other previously described covariates. Notably, the branch with the highest likelihood of HypoRT were patients with T2/T3 tumors within 2 cm of both the esophagus and heart (94% HypoRT vs 6% SBRT). Patients with tumors not close to central structures but with T3 rather than T2 tumors were more likely to be treated with HypoRT as well (62% vs 38%). Conclusion: Based on this large prospective real-world data of early-stage NSCLC, larger tumors and those located near central structures are more likely to be treated with HypoRT. The patient’s age, performance status, race, and smoking status were not significant in this analysis. Additional analysis on outcomes and toxicity related to treatments is underway.




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American Society for Radiation Oncology 65th Annual Meeting ASTRO 2023, October 1-4, 2023, San Diego, CA