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ABSTRACT: This study investigated the maximum theoretical radiation dose that could safely be delivered to 20 patients diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer. Two three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (RT) class-solution techniques (A and B) and an individualized three-dimensional conformal RT technique (C) were compared at the standard dose of 60 Gy (part I). Dose escalation was then attempted for each technique successfully at 60 Gy, constrained by predetermined limits for lung and spinal canal (part II). Part I and part II data were reanalysed to include oesophageal dose constraints (part III). In part I, 60 Gy was successfully planned using techniques A, B and C in 19 (95%), 18 (90%) and 20 (100%) patients, respectively. The mean escalated dose attainable for part II using techniques A, B and C were 76.4, 74 and 97.8 Gy, respectively (P < 0.0005). One (5%) patient was successfully planned for 120 Gy using techniques A and B, whereas four (20%) were successfully planned using technique C. Following the inclusion of additional constraints applied to the oesophagus in part III, the amount of escalated dose remained the same for all patients who were successfully planned at 60 Gy apart from two patients when technique C was applied. In conclusion, individualized three-dimensional conformal RT facilitated greater dose conformation and higher escalation of dose in most patients. With modern planning tools, simple class solutions are obsolete for conventional dose radical RT in non-small-cell lung cancer. Highly individualized conformal planning is essential for dose escalation.
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 05/2008; 52(2):168-77. · 0.98 Impact Factor