Single-arm prospective interventional study assessing feasibility of using gallium-68 ventilation and perfusion PET/CT to avoid functional lung in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer

Nicholas Bucknell, Nicholas Hardcastle, Price Jackson, Michael Hofman, Jason Callahan, Peter Eu, Amir Iravani, Rhonda Lawrence, Olga Martin, Mathias Bressel, Beverley Woon, Benjamin Blyth, Michael MacManus, Keelan Byrne, Daniel Steinfort, Tomas Kron, Gerard Hanna, David Ball, Shankar Siva

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background In the curative-intent treatment of locally advanced lung cancer, significant morbidity and mortality can result from thoracic radiation therapy. Symptomatic radiation pneumonitis occurs in one in three patients and can lead to radiation-induced fibrosis. Local failure occurs in one in three patients due to the lungs being a dose-limiting organ, conventionally restricting tumour doses to around 60 Gy. Functional lung imaging using positron emission tomography (PET)/CT provides a geographic map of regional lung function and preclinical studies suggest this enables personalised lung radiotherapy. This map of lung function can be integrated into Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) radiotherapy planning systems, enabling conformal avoidance of highly functioning regions of lung, thereby facilitating increased doses to tumour while reducing normal tissue doses. Methods and analysis This prospective interventional study will investigate the use of ventilation and perfusion PET/CT to identify highly functioning lung volumes and avoidance of these using VMAT planning. This single-arm trial will be conducted across two large public teaching hospitals in Australia. Twenty patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer will be recruited. All patients enrolled will receive dose-escalated (69 Gy) functional avoidance radiation therapy. The primary endpoint is feasibility with this achieved if ≥15 out of 20 patients meet pre-defined feasibility criteria. Patients will be followed for 12 months post-treatment with serial imaging, biomarkers, toxicity assessment and quality of life assessment. Discussion Using advanced techniques such as VMAT functionally adapted radiation therapy may enable safe moderate dose escalation with an aim of improving local control and concurrently decreasing treatment related toxicity. If this technique is proven feasible, it will inform the design of a prospective randomised trial to assess the clinical benefits of functional lung avoidance radiation therapy. Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the Peter MacCallum Human Research Ethics Committee. All participants will provide written informed consent. Results will be disseminated via publications. Trials registration number NCT03569072; Pre-results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere042465
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2020

Keywords

  • nuclear radiology
  • radiation oncology
  • respiratory tract tumours
  • toxicity

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