Initial clinical experience treating patients with palliative radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma on the HalcyonTM linear accelerator

Annals of Palliative Medicine 2020 August 14 [Link]

Andrew R Barsky, Michele M Kim, Russell Maxwell, Amberly Mendes, Christopher M Wright, Emily J Anstadt, Sally McNulty, Lei Dong, James M Metz, Steven J Feigenberg, Taoran Li, Keith A Cengel


Background: Radiation therapy (RT) can provide effective symptomatic palliation in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Advances in RT technology, including intensity-modulated RT (IMRT) and volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), have improved treatment conformality, potentially improving the therapeutic ratio of RT. A novel 6-MV flattening-filter-free O-ring linear accelerator, HalcyonTM (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, USA), was built to provide such advanced therapies, while possibly reducing treatment time. Here, we report the initial clinical experience using HalcyonTM to deliver palliative RT for patients with MPM.

Methods: We retrospectively assessed consecutive patients with MPM who received thoracic RT on HalcyonTM. Their electronic medical records were reviewed for clinical, RT planning, treatment timing, and image-guidance RT (IGRT) data.

Results: Four patients with metastatic MPM received palliative RT on HalcyonTM between 1/2017-1/2020 for severe pain (50%), dysphagia (25%), or dyspnea (25%). Targets included a combination of pleura, chest wall, lung, hilum, and mediastinum, with patient-specific dose and fractionation regimens ranging from 20-45 Gy in 5-15 fractions, and 75% of patients receiving concurrent systemic therapy. Pre-specified target and organ-at-risk constraints were met for nearly all plans. At a median follow-up of 2.2 months (range, 1.6-7.1 months), all patients experienced either improved (75%) or stable (25%) tumor-related symptoms following palliative RT. The mean 3D vector couch correction was 0.67±0.15 cm. The mean beam-on, treatment (beam-on plus cone-beam computed tomography times), and approximated total room usage times were 1.6±0.2, 1.8±0.2, and 9.8±0.2 min, respectively. Grade 2 fatigue and cough occurred in 25% and 25% of patients, and no patients experienced Grade ≥3 toxicity.

Conclusions: In this initial clinical experience treating patients with palliative RT for MPM on HalcyonTM, treatment provided symptom palliation and local control across multiple palliative scenarios, with minimal toxicity, acceptable dosimetry, and setup corrections and treatment times that compared favorably with other published experiences of MPM RT. Palliative RT on HalcyonTM can provide patients with MPM quick and safe tumor-related symptom relief, even in a frail, elderly population.