Medical Physics 2015 June [Link]
Richardson S, Mehta V.
The “SMART” (Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy) approach involves hypo-fractionated radiotherapy of the lung pleura to 25Gy over 5 days followed by surgical resection within 7. Early clinical results suggest that this approach is very promising, but also logistically challenging due to the multidisciplinary involvement. Due to the compressed schedule, high dose, and shortened planning time, the delivery of the planned doses were monitored for safety with quality metric software.
Hypo-fractionated IMRT treatment plans were developed for all patients and exported to Quality Reports™ software. Plan quality metrics or PQMs™ were created to calculate an objective scoring function for each plan. This allows for an objective assessment of the quality of the plan and a benchmark for plan improvement for subsequent patients. The priorities of various components were incorporated based on similar hypo-fractionated protocols such as lung SBRT treatments.
Five patients have been treated at our institution using this approach. The plans were developed, QA performed, and ready within 5 days of simulation. Plan Quality metrics utilized in scoring included doses to OAR and target coverage. All patients tolerated treatment well and proceeded to surgery as scheduled. Reported toxicity included grade 1 nausea (n=1), grade 1 esophagitis (n=1), grade 2 fatigue (n=3). One patient had recurrent fluid accumulation following surgery. No patients experienced any pulmonary toxicity prior to surgery.
An accelerated course of pre-operative high dose radiation for mesothelioma is an innovative and promising new protocol. Without historical data, one must proceed cautiously and monitor the data carefully. The development of quality metrics and scoring functions for these treatments allows us to benchmark our plans and monitor improvement. If subsequent toxicities occur, these will be easy to investigate and incorporate into the metrics. This will improve the safe delivery of large doses for these patients.