Stereotactic body radiation therapy of early-stage non-small-cell lung carcinoma: Phase I study

Ronald C. McGarry, Lech Papiez, Mark Williams, Tia Whitford, Robert D. Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

432 Scopus citations


Purpose: A Phase I dose escalation study of stereotactic body radiation therapy to assess toxicity and local control rates for patients with medically inoperable Stage I lung cancer. Methods and Materials: All patients had non-small-cell lung carcinoma, Stage T1a or T1b N0, M0. Patients were immobilized in a stereotactic body frame and treated in escalating doses of radiotherapy beginning at 24 Gy total (3 × 8 Gy fractions) using 7-10 beams. Cohorts were dose escalated by 6.0 Gy total with appropriate observation periods. Results: The maximum tolerated dose was not achieved in the T1 stratum (maximum dose = 60 Gy), but within the T2 stratum, the maximum tolerated dose was realized at 72 Gy for tumors larger than 5 cm. Dose-limiting toxicity included predominantly bronchitis, pericardial effusion, hypoxia, and pneumonitis. Local failure occurred in 4/19 T1 and 6/28 T2 patients. Nine local failures occurred at doses ≤16 Gy and only 1 at higher doses. Local failures occurred between 3 and 31 months from treatment. Within the T1 group, 5 patients had distant or regional recurrence as an isolated event, whereas 3 patients had both distant and regional recurrence. Within the T2 group, 2 patients had solitary regional recurrences, and the 4 patients who failed distantly also failed regionally. Conclusions: Stereotactic body radiation therapy seems to be a safe, effective means of treating early-stage lung cancer in medically inoperable patients. Excellent local control was achieved at higher dose cohorts with apparent dose-limiting toxicities in patients with larger tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1015
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 2005


  • Inoperable
  • Lung carcinoma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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