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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in The British Journal of Radiology, Volume 92, Issue 1097, May 2019, Page 20180960.

The published version is available at Copyright © Appel et al.


OBJECTIVE: Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has better normal-tissue sparing compared with 3-dimensional conformal radiation (3DCRT). We sought to assess the impact of radiation technique on pathological and clinical outcomes in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LANSCLC) treated with a trimodality strategy.

METHODS: Retrospective review of LANSCLC patients treated from August 2012 to August 2018 at Sheba Medical Center, Israel. The trimodality strategy consisted of concomitant chemoradiation to 60 Gray (Gy) followed by completion surgery. The planning target volume (PTV) was defined by co-registered PET/CT. Here we compare the pathological regression, surgical margin status, local control rates (LC), disease free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) between 3DCRT and IMRT.

RESULTS: Our cohort consisted of 74 patients with mean age 62.9 years, male in 51/74 (69%), adenocarcinoma in 46/74 (62.1%), stage 3 in 59/74 (79.7%) and chemotherapy in 72/74 (97.3%). Radiation mean dose: 59.2 Gy (SD ± 3.8). Radiation technique : 3DCRT in 51/74 (68.9%), IMRT in 23/74 (31%). Other variables were similar between groups.Major pathological response (including pathological complete response or less than 10% residual tumor cells) was similar: 32/51 (62.7%) in 3DCRT and 15/23 (65.2%) in IMRT, p=0.83. Pathological complete response (pCR) rates were similar: 17/51 (33.3%) in 3DCRT and 8/23 (34.8%) in IMRT, p=0.9. Surgical margins were negative in 46/51 (90.1%) in 3DCRT vs. 17/19 (89.4%) in IMRT (p=1.0).The 2-year LC rates were 81.6% (95% CI 69-89.4%); DFS 58.3% (95% CI 45.5-69%) and 3-year OS 70% (95% CI57-80%). Comparing radiation techniques, there were no significant differences in LC (p=0.94), DFS (p=0.33) and OS (p=0.72).

CONCLUSION: When used to treat LANSCLC in the neoadjuvant setting, both IMRT and 3DCRT produce comparable pathological and clinical outcomes.

ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: This study validates the real-world effectiveness of IMRT compared to 3DCRT.

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