The Impact of Cardiac Radiation Dosimetry on Survival After Radiation Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Vivekanandan S., Landau DB., Counsell N., Warren DR., Khwanda A., Rosen SD., Parsons E., Ngai Y., Farrelly L., Hughes L., Hawkins MA., Fenwick JD.
PURPOSE: The heart receives high radiation doses during radiation therapy of advanced-stage lung cancer. We have explored associations between overall survival, cardiac radiation doses, and electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in patients treated in IDEAL-CRT, a trial of isotoxically escalated concurrent chemoradiation delivering tumor doses of 63 to 73 Gy. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Dosimetric and survival data were analyzed for 78 patients. The whole heart, pericardium, AV node, and walls of left and right atria (LA/RA-Wall) and ventricles (LV/RV-Wall) were outlined on radiation therapy planning scans, and differential dose-volume histograms (dDVHs) were calculated. For each structure, dDVHs were approximated using the average dDVH and the 10 highest-ranked structure-specific principal components (PCs). ECGs at baseline and 6 months after radiation therapy were analyzed for 53 patients, dichotomizing patients according to presence or absence of "any ECG change" (conduction or ischemic/pericarditis-like change). All-cause death rate (DR) was analyzed from the start of treatment using Cox regression. RESULTS: 38% of patients had ECG changes at 6 months. On univariable analysis, higher scores for LA-Wall-PC6, Heart-PC6, "any ECG change," and larger planning target volume (PTV) were significantly associated with higher DR (P=.003, .009, .029, and .037, respectively). Heart-PC6 and LA-Wall-PC6 represent larger volumes of whole heart and left atrial wall receiving 63 to 69 Gy. Cardiac doses ≥63 Gy were concentrated in the LA-Wall, and consequently Heart-PC6 was highly correlated with LA-Wall-PC6. "Any ECG change," LA-Wall-PC6 scores, and PTV size were retained in the multivariable model. CONCLUSIONS: We found associations between higher DR and conduction or ischemic/pericarditis-like changes on ECG at 6 months, and between higher DR and higher Heart-PC6 or LA-Wall-PC6 scores, which are closely related to heart or left atrial wall volumes receiving 63 to 69 Gy in this small cohort of patients.