Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy offers a radical treatment approach for early stage lung cancers and an aggressive local therapy for pulmonary oligometastases from other tumour sites. Chest wall toxicity is one of the key dose-limiting toxicities for intrathoracic stereotactic treatments. The description of stereotactic radiotherapy chest wall toxicity using functional imaging has not been reported previously. A 56-year-old male received 60 Gy in 8 fractions delivered by volumetric modulated arc therapy for a T1bN0M0 clinical left upper lobe lung cancer. The past medical history included poorly controlled type 1 diabetes mellitus, severe peripheral vascular disease and obesity. The patient attended 9 months later with left-sided, slowly progressive chest pain. An 18FDG PET/CT performed in order to investigate contralateral pulmonary lesions revealed FDG-avid focal thickening at the left superio-lateral thoracic wall with overlying inflammatory stranding in keeping with an indolent inflammatory process. Chest wall toxicity may present as pain, swelling, fracture and skin changes, and has the 18FDG PET/CT characteristics of an inflammatory process. Patients with risk factors for chest wall toxicity, such as obesity, diabetes and smoking should be informed of their higher propensity for this clinically significant treatment side effect. For patients developing chest wall toxicity as demonstrated in this case with associated functional imaging findings, anti-inflammatory treatment should be promptly commenced.
- computed tomography
- lung cancer
- positron emission tomography
- radiation oncology
- stereotactic ablative radiotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging