To compare dose-volume histograms (DVHs) for intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and passive scattering proton therapy (PSPT) for stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and explore the possibility of individualized radical radiotherapy.
Methods and Materials
DVHs for IMPT, PSPT, and IMRT designed to deliver IMRT at 60 to 63 Gy, PSPT at 74 Gy, and IMPT at the same doses and individualized radical radiotherapy in patients with extensive stage IIIB NSCLC (N = 10 for each approach) were compared. These patients were selected based on their extensive disease and considered to have no or borderline tolerance of IMRT at 60 to 63 Gy based on normal tissue dose-volume constraints (lung V20<35%, total mean lung dose <20 Gy; spinal cord dose, <45 Gy). The possibility of increasing the total tumor dose with IMPT for each patient without exceeding the dose-volume constraints (maximum tolerant dose, MTD) was also investigated.
Compared with IMRT, IMPT spared more lung, heart, spinal cord, and esophagus even with dose escalation from 63 Gy to 83.5 Gy, with a mean MTD of 74 Gy. Compared with PSPT, IMPT allowed further dose escalation from 74 Gy to mean MTD of 84.4 Gy (range 79.4-88.4 Gy) while keeping all parameters of normal tissue sparing lower or similar. In addition, IMPT prevented lower target coverage in patients with complicated tumor anatomies. Conclusions: IMPT reduces the normal tissue dose and allows individualized radical radiotherapy for extensive stage IIIB NSCLC.