Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 144, Issue 6, pp 1165–1171 | Cite as

Is tumor volume reduction during radiotherapy prognostic relevant in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer?

  • Khaled Elsayad
  • Laith Samhouri
  • Sergiu Scobioala
  • Uwe Haverkamp
  • Hans Theodor Eich
Original Article – Clinical Oncology



Lung cancer tumor volume reduction is common during radiation treatment (RT). The purpose of this study was to investigate tumor volume reduction ratio (VRR) and its correlation with outcomes in a cohort of patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who underwent image-guided radiochemotherapy (RCTx).


Fifty patients with NSCLC treated with fractionated RT at our institution between 2013 and 2017 were included. The relationship between gross tumor volume (GTV) changes during RT (week 1 vs. week 5) and outcomes were evaluated.


The median radiation dose delivered was 59.4 Gy (median fraction dose, 1.8 Gy). The median GTV before treatment was 119 cm3, with a median GTV change of − 40%. Patients with more volume reduction had poorer tumor control. A VRR > 40% was associated with a poorer OS and PFS in patients with non-adenocarcinoma (non-ADC) histology. In multivariate analysis, VRR during RT, and chemotherapy (CTx) administration remained related to PFS and OS, while initial GTV remained a significant determinant for OS. In subgroup analyses, and CTx (p = 0.038) affected PFS among non-ADC patients, with initial GTV (p = 0.058) and VRR (p = 0.08) showing non-significant trends. Initial GTV (p = 0.023), VRR (p = 0.038), and CTx (p = 0.01) remained significant predictors for OS in the non-ADC group.


Worse tumor control and OS in non-ADC patients are observed with more marked RT-induced tumor shrinkage, supporting the development of response-adaptive treatment strategies, particularly in non-ADC NSCLC patients.


Lung cancer GTV changes Intensity-modulated radiation therapy Adaptive planning Survival 



Not applicable.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University Hospital Münster and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiation Oncology DepartmentUniversity Hospital MuensterMuensterGermany

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