Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Resected Mesothelioma: The Duke Experience

The International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics. 2008 Feb 7 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Miles EF, Larrier NA, Kelsey CR, Hubbs JL, Ma J, Yoo S, Marks LB.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.


Purpose: To assess the safety and efficacy of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) after extrapleural pneumonectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Methods and Materials: Thirteen patients underwent IMRT after extrapleural pneumonectomy between July 2005 and February 2007 at Duke University Medical Center. The clinical target volume was defined as the entire ipsilateral hemithorax, chest wall incisions, including drain sites, and involved nodal stations. The dose prescribed to the planning target volume was 40–55 Gy (median, 45). Toxicity was graded using the modified Common Toxicity Criteria, and the lung dosimetric parameters from the subgroups with and without pneumonitis were compared. Local control and survival were assessed.

Results: The median follow-up after IMRT was 9.5 months. Of the 13 patients, 3 (23%) developed Grade 2 or greater acute pulmonary toxicity (during or within 30 days of IMRT). The median dosimetric parameters for those with and without symptomatic pneumonitis were a mean lung dose (MLD) of 7.9 vs. 7.5 Gy (p = 0.40), percentage of lung volume receiving 20 Gy (V20) of 0.2% vs. 2.3% (p = 0.51), and percentage of lung volume receiving 5 Gy (V20) of 92% vs. 66% (p = 0.36). One patient died of fatal pulmonary toxicity. This patient received a greater MLD (11.4 vs. 7.6 Gy) and had a greater V20 (6.9% vs. 1.9%), and V5 (92% vs. 66%) compared with the median of those without fatal pulmonary toxicity. Local and/or distant failure occurred in 6 patients (46%), and 6 patients (46%) were alive without evidence of recurrence at last follow-up.

Conclusions: With limited follow-up, 45-Gy IMRT provides reasonable local control for mesothelioma after extrapleural pneumonectomy. However, treatment-related pulmonary toxicity remains a significant concern. Care should be taken to minimize the dose to the remaining lung to achieve an acceptable therapeutic ratio.