The use of fused PET/CT images for patient selection and radical radiotherapy target volume definition in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: Results of a prospective study with mature survival data

Michael P. Mac Manus, Sarah Everitt, Mike Bayne, David Ball, Nikki Plumridge, David Binns, Alan Herschtal, Deborah Cruickshank, Mathias Bressel, Rodney J. Hicks

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Background and purpose: This prospective study investigated the impact of radiotherapy (RT)-planning FDG-PET/CT on management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Materials and methods: Patients still eligible for radical RT after conventional staging underwent RT-planning PET/CT and, if disease was still treatable to 60 Gy, they entered our planning study, where visually-contoured tumour volumes derived with and without PET information were compared. If PET/CT detected advanced disease, palliative therapy was given. Overall survival (OS) for palliative and curative patients was compared. Results: Of 76 eligible patients, only 50 (66%) received radical chemoRT after PET/CT while 26 (34%) received palliative therapies because PET/CT detected advanced disease. Without PET, FDG-avid tumour would reside outside the planning target volume (PTV) in 36% of radical cases and in 25% <90% of the PTV would have received >95% prescribed dose. OS for all patients was 56.8% and 24.9% at 1 and 4 years, respectively. OS for patients given chemoRT was 77.5% and 35.6% at 1 and 4 years, respectively and was 32% for stage IIIA patients at 4 years. OS for patients treated palliatively was inferior (P < 0.001); 16.3% and 4.1% at 1 and 4 years, respectively. Conclusions: Planning PET/CT frequently changed management and was associated with excellent survival. Survival data from this study were presented in part at the 2011 World Lung Cancer Conference, Amsterdam and planning data at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Chicago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Radiotherapy
  • Survival

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