Pulmonary artery invasion, high-dose radiation, and overall survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Cheng Bo Han, Wei Li Wang, Leslie Quint, Jian Xin Xue, Martha Matuszak, Randall Ten Haken, Feng Ming Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose To investigate whether high-dose radiation to the pulmonary artery (PA) affects overall survival (OS) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods and Materials Patients with medically inoperable/unresectable NSCLC treated with definitive radiation therapy in prospective studies were eligible for this study. Pulmonary artery involvement was defined on the basis of pretreatment chest CT and positron emission tomography/CT fusion. Pulmonary artery was contoured according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group protocol 1106 atlas, and dose-volume histograms were generated. Results A total of 100 patients with a minimum follow-up of 1 year for surviving patients were enrolled: 82.0% underwent concurrent chemoradiation therapy. Radiation dose ranged from 60 to 85.5 Gy in 30-37 fractions. Patients with PA invasion of grade ≤2, 3, 4, and 5 had 1-year OS and median survival of 67% and 25.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 15.7-35.1), 62% and 22.2 months (95% CI 5.8-38.6), 90% and 35.8 months (95% CI 28.4-43.2), and 50% and 7.0 months, respectively (P=.601). Two of the 4 patients with grade 5 PA invasion died suddenly from massive hemorrhage at 3 and 4.5 months after completion of radiation therapy. Maximum and mean doses to PA were not significantly associated with OS. The V45, V50, V55, and V60 of PA were correlated significantly with a worse OS (P<.05). Patients with V45 >70% or V60 >37% had significantly worse OS (13.3 vs 37.9 months, P<.001, and 13.8 vs 37.9 months, P=.04, respectively). Conclusions Grade 5 PA invasion and PA volume receiving more than 45-60 Gy may be associated with inferior OS in patients with advanced NSCLC treated with concurrent chemoradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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