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School of Medicine


Objective—Contemporary radiotherapy guidelines for locally advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma (LA-NSCLC) recommend omitting elective nodal irradiation, despite the fact that evidence supporting this came primarily from older reports assessing comprehensive nodal coverage using 3D conformal techniques. Herein, we evaluated the dosimetric implications of the addition of limited elective nodal irradiation (LENI) to standard involved field irradiation (IFI) using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) planning. Method—Target volumes and organs-at-risk (OARs) were delineated on CT simulation images of 20 patients with LA-NSCLC. Two VMAT plans (IFI and LENI) were generated for each patient. Involved sites were treated to 60 Gy in 30 fractions for both IFI and LENI plans. Adjacent uninvolved nodal regions, considered high risk based on the primary tumor site and extent of nodal involvement, were treated to 51 Gy in 30 fractions in LENI plans using a simultaneous integrated boost approach. Results—All planning objectives for PTVs and OARs were achieved for both IFI and LENI plans. LENI resulted in significantly higher esophagus Dmean (15.3 vs. 22.5 Gy, p < 0.01), spinal cord Dmax (34.9 vs. 42.4 Gy, p = 0.02) and lung Dmean (13.5 vs. 15.9 Gy, p = 0.02), V20 (23.0 vs. 27.9%, p = 0.03), and V5 (52.6 vs. 59.4%, p = 0.02). No differences were observed in heart parameters. On average, only 32.2% of the high-risk nodal volume received an incidental dose of 51 Gy when untargeted in IFI plans. Conclusion—The addition of LENI to VMAT plans for LA-NSCLC is feasible, with only modestly increased doses to OARs and marginal expected increase in associated toxicity.

Source Citation

Kenamond MC, Alfredo Siochi R, Mattes MD. The dosimetric effects of limited elective nodal irradiation in volumetric modulated arc therapy treatment planning for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Journal of Radiation Oncology. 2017;7(1):45-51. doi:10.1007/s13566-017-0327-2