Prospective Trial of Functional Lung Avoidance Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer: Quality of Life Report

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International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics


PURPOSE: A novel form of lung function imaging has been developed that uses 4-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) data to generate lung ventilation images (4DCT-ventilation). Functional avoidance uses 4DCT-ventilation to reduce doses to functional lung with the aim of reducing pulmonary side effects. A phase 2, multicenter 4DCT-ventilation functional avoidance clinical trial was completed. The purpose of this work was to quantify changes in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for patients treated with functional avoidance and determine which metrics are predictive of PRO changes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with locally advanced lung cancer receiving curative-intent radiation therapy were accrued. Each patient had a 4DCT-ventilation image generated using 4DCT data and image processing. PRO instruments included the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L) questionnaire administered pretreatment; at the end of treatment; and at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment. Using the FACT-Trial Outcome Index and the FACT-Lung Cancer Subscale results, the percentage of clinically meaningful declines (CMDs) were determined. A linear mixed-effects model was used to determine which patient, clinical, dose, and dose-function metrics were predictive of PRO decline.

RESULTS: Of the 59 patients who completed baseline PRO surveys. 83% had non-small cell lung cancer, with 75% having stage 3 disease. The median dose was 60 Gy in 30 fractions. CMD FACT-Trial Outcome Index decline was 46.3%, 38.5%, and 26.8%, at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. CMD FACT-Lung Cancer Subscale decline was 33.3%, 33.3%, and 29.3%, at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Although an increase in most dose and dose-function parameters was associated with a modest decline in PROs, none of the results were significant (all P > .053).

CONCLUSIONS: The current work presents an innovative combination of use of functional avoidance and PRO assessment and is the first report of PROs for patients treated with prospective 4DCT-ventilation functional avoidance. Approximately 30% of patients had clinically significant decline in PROs at 12 months posttreatment. The study provides additional data on outcomes with 4DCT-ventilation functional avoidance.

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ePub ahead of print