Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for treatment of central and ultra-central lung tumors

Aadel A. Chaudhuri, Chad Tang, Michael S. Binkley, Michelle Jin, Jacob F. Wynne, Rie von Eyben, Wendy Y. Hara, Nicholas Trakul, Billy W. Loo, Maximilian Diehn

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140 Scopus citations


Objectives: Treatment of central and ultra-central lung tumors with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) remains controversial due to risks of treatment-related toxicities compared with peripheral tumors. Here we report our institution's experience in treating central and ultra-central lung tumor patients with SABR. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed outcomes in 68 patients with single lung tumors, 34 central and 34 peripheral, all treated with SABR consisting of 50. Gy in 4-5 fractions. Tumor centrality was defined per the RTOG 0813 protocol. We defined "ultra-central" tumors as those with GTV directly abutting the central airway. Results: Median follow-up time was 18.4. months and median overall survival was 38.1 months. Two-year overall survival was similar between ultra-central, central, and peripheral NSCLC (80.0% vs. 63.2% vs. 86.6%, P= 0.62), as was 2-year local failure (0% vs. 10.0% vs. 16.3%, P= 0.64). Toxicity rates were low and comparable between the three groups, with only two cases of grade 3 toxicity (chest wall pain), and one case of grade 4 toxicity (pneumonitis) observed. Patients with ultra-central tumors experienced no symptomatic toxicities over a median follow-up time of 23.6 months. Dosimetric analysis revealed that RTOG 0813 central airway dose constraints were frequently not achieved in central tumor treatment plans, but this did not correlate with increased toxicity rate. Conclusion: Patients with central and ultra-central lung tumors treated with SABR (50. Gy in 4-5 fractions) experienced few toxicities and good outcomes, similar to patients with peripheral lung tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Lung neoplasms
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Radiation oncology
  • Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy
  • Toxicity


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