Cureus 2017 September [Link]

Lee H, Zeng J, Bowen SR, Rengan R


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a malignancy of the pleural cavity that typically presents at an advanced stage. Due to its large, circumferential clinical target volume (CTV) and proximity to major structures, including the heart and contralateral lung, delivering hemithoracic intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with photon therapy to achieve loco-regional control following macroscopic complete resection is challenging. Intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) has been shown to be a method for achieving higher therapeutic doses while limiting exposure to organs at risk (OARs), but patient outcomes after treatment have yet to be reported. We present three patients who received IMPT to 54 Gy after extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), with two patients receiving boosts to 66 and 60 Gy. All three tolerated treatment well and received doses to OARs markedly lower than those seen in comparison volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) IMRT photon plans. Radiation pneumonitis, a highly morbid and potentially fatal toxicity in patients receiving thoracic radiotherapy, was not observed even with boost treatments. In practice, IMPT appears to match dosimetric predictions as a feasible and safer alternative to photon IMRT-based radiotherapy.