Intraoperative radiotherapy during lung cancer surgery: technical description and early clinical results
Calvo F.A., Ortiz de Urbina D., Abuchaibe O., Azinovic I., Aristu J., Santos M., Escude L., Herreros J., Llorens R.
Department of Oncology, Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
A phase I-II study of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) for Stage III lung cancer was performed in 34 patients during a period of 58 months. Loco-regional treatment included tumor resection if technically feasible, IORT boost of electron beams using moderate single doses (10-15 Gy) to tumor bearing areas and external photon beam irradiation (46-50 Gy in 5 weeks) using conventional fields. Indications for this study were unresectable hiliar tumors (14, 41%), and mediastinal, hiliar and/or chest wall residual disease following resection (20, 59%).
Thirty-four procedures, with 40 IORT fields, have been analyzed to describe the relevant technical aspects and the toxicity. IORT was delivered using acrylic transparent cones of different diameters. Surgical approach consisted in a lateral thoracotomy in all patients (21 right side and 13 left side). Tissues included within the IORT field were: tumor or residual tumor tissues (34, 100%), collapsed lung parenchyma and main bronchus not surgically manipulated (14, 41%), bronchial stump and vascular suture following resection (19, 55%), mediastinal structures (20, 58%), and brachial plexus (1, 3%). The bronchial suture was covered with pleural or pericardial flap after IORT in 10 cases (29%). Life threatening toxicity related to IORT consisted in broncho-pleural fistula (1, 3%) and massive hemoptysis (1, 3%). Other reversible toxic events were acute pneumonitis (12, 85%) and esophagitis (10, 50%). Long term asymptomatic lung fibrosis was detected in 11 cases (32%). Median survival time for the entire group has been 12 months. With a median follow-up time of 12 months the freedom from thoracic recurrence rate is 30% (65% in cases with tumor resection). Projected actuarial survival rates at 4 years were 28% for resected group and 7% for unresected cases.
This experience supports IORT as a feasible alternative modality to be used in the management of locally advanced lung cancer. Tolerance of thoracic organs to moderate doses of IORT appeared to be adequate and local control is achieved in certain patients. These results deserve further investigation and confirmation trials.
CITA DEL ARTÍCULO Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1990 Jul;19(1):103-9