Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2012 Dec;7(12):1862-6. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e318272601f. [Link]

Minatel E, Trovo M, Polesel J, Rumeileh IA, Baresic T, Bearz A, Del Conte A, Franchin G, Gobitti C, Drigo A, Dassie A, Pagan V, Trovo MG.

Departments of Radiation Oncology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Nuclear Medicine, and Medical Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico of Aviano, Italy; Department of Medical Oncology, Pordenone General Hospital, Pordenone, Italy; and Departments of Medical Physics and Surgery, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico of Aviano, Italy.


Introduction: This study aimed to assess the safety of high doses of radiation delivered with tomotherapy to the intact lung after radical pleurectomy/decortication or biopsy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

Methods: Twenty-eight patients were enrolled in this prospective study and underwent adjuvant or definitive tomotherapy after radical pleurectomy/decortication (n = 20) or pleural biopsy (n = 8) for MPM. The dose prescribed to the planning target volume, defined as the entire hemithorax, including chest-wall incisions and drain sites and excluding the intact lung, was 50 Gy delivered in 25 fractions. All patients underwent fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography for staging after surgery. Any fluorodeoxyglucose-avid areas or regions of particular concern for residual disease were given a simultaneous boost of radiotherapy to 60 Gy. Specific lung dosimetric parameters were reported. Toxicity was graded using the modified Common Toxicity Criteria version 3.0.

Results: The median follow-up was of 19 months (range, 6–29 months). Five patients (17.8%) experienced severe respiratory symptoms corresponding to grade 2 pneumonitis in three cases, and grade 3 pneumonitis in two cases. No fatal respiratory toxicity was reported. Controlateral lung V5 was strongly correlated with the risk of pneumonitis. Patients who developed grade 2 and 3 pneumonitis had a higher controlateral lung V5 (mean V5=32%) than those without pneumonitis (mean V5=17%) (p=0.002). Other two grade 3 toxicities were registered: one severe pain to the chest wall, and one severe thrombocytopenia.

Conclusions: Tomotherapy allows the safe delivery of high dose of radiation to the hemithorax of MPM patients with intact lung.