Background and purpose: Heavy ion radiotherapy is a promising modality because of its excellent dose localization and high biological effect on tumors. Using carbon beams, a dose escalation study was conducted for the treatment of stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to determine the optimal dose. Materials and methods: The first stage phase I/II trial using 18 fractions over 6 weeks for 47 patients and the second one using nine fractions over 3 weeks for 34 patients were conducted by the dose escalation method from 59.4 to 95.4 Gray equivalents (GyE) in incremental steps of 10% and from 68.4 to 79.2 GyE in 5% increments, respectively. The local control and survival rates were obtained using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Radiation pneumonitis at grade III occurred in three of 81 patients, but they fully recovered. This was not a dose-limiting factor. The local control rates in the first and second trials were 64% and 84%, respectively. The total recurrence rate in both trials was 23.2%. The infield local recurrence in the first trial was significantly dependent on carbon dose. The doses greater than 86.4 GyE at 18 fractions and 72 GyE at nine fractions achieved a local control of 90% and 95%, respectively. The 5 year overall and cause-specific survivals in 81 patients were 42% and 60%, respectively. Conclusions: With our dose escalation study, the optimum safety and efficacy dose of carbon beams was determined. Carbon beam therapy attained almost the same results as surgery for stage I NSCLC although this was a I/II study.
- Carbon beam
- Phase I/II
- Radical radiotherapy
- Stage I non-small cell lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging