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ESTRO 2022 | Toxicity of proton therapy vs photon therapy for treatment of NSCLC with concurrent chemotherapy

Francesco Cortiula, MD, University Hospital of Udine, Udine, Italy, and Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands, discusses a recent study comparing proton therapy and photon therapy in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) being treated concurrently with chemotherapy. The results presented at ESTRO 2022 focused on hematological toxicity, with the primary outcome being incidence of grade 3 or higher lymphopenia during concurrent chemotherapy. 35 patients were included in the proton therapy plus chemotherapy treatment arm and 134 patients were included in the photon therapy plus chemotherapy treatment arm. There were significantly fewer incidences of lymphopenia at grade 3 or higher among patients who were treated with proton therapy (45% of patients in this arm), compared to those treated with photon therapy (75% of patients in this arm), during the concurrent chemotherapy treatment. Further analysis suggested that the lower incidence of lymphopenia in the proton arm was correlated with less radiation delivered to the bone marrow. Dr Cortiula also discusses future directions for this research. This interview took place at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) 2022 annual congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, and online.

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