Definitive Upfront Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy Combined with Image-Guided, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) or IG-IMRT Alone for Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

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Background Image-guided (IG) intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) enables maximal tumor margin reduction for the sparing of organs at risk (OARs) when used to treat locally advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with definitive chemo-radiation. It also allows for the incorporation of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) into the treatment regimen. Here, we describe our initial experience in combining definitive upfront SABR to the primary lesion with chemo-radiation delivered with conventionally fractionated IG-IMRT to the remaining regional disease; along with clinical outcome following chemo-radiation with conventionally fractionated IG-IMRT alone in the treatment of locally advanced NSCLC. Methods The clinical outcome of 29 patients with locally advanced NSCLC who underwent conventionally fractionated IG-IMRT, or definitive upfront SABR followed by IG-IMRT combined with chemotherapy (induction, concurrent, or both) was retrospectively reviewed. Results After a median follow up of 23.7 months, the median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 19.8 and 11.3 months, respectively. The 2 year local, regional, and distant control was 60%, 62%, and 38%, respectively. No local failure was observed in 3 patients following SABR + IG-IMRT while 6/26 patients failed locally following IG-IMRT alone. SABR + IGIMRT was well tolerated. No grade 3 radiation-related toxicity was observed. Conclusion Definitive upfront SABR followed by IG-IMRT in selected patients with locally advanced NSCLC warrants furtherinvestigation in future clinical trials, while chemo-radiation with IGIMRT alone was well tolerated.