Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy for Pulmonary Metastases: Histology, Dose, and Indication Matter

Joelle Helou, Isabelle Thibault, Ian Poon, Andrew Chiang, Suneil Jain, Hany Soliman, Darby Erler, Latifa Yeung, Patrick Cheung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)



To assess the association between colorectal cancer (CRC) histology, dose, and local failure (LF) after stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) for pulmonary metastases, and to describe subsequent cancer progression, change of systemic therapy (CST), survival, and their association with treatment indications. 

Methods and Materials

 From a prospective SABR cohort, 180 pulmonary metastases in 120 patients were identified. Treatment indications were single metastasis, oligometastases, oligoprogression, and dominant areas of progression. Doses of 48 to 52 Gy/4 to 5 fractions were delivered. Since 2010 the dose for peripheral CRC metastases was increased to 60 Gy/4 fractions. Cumulative incidence function (CIF) was used to report LF, progression probability, and CST. The Kaplan-Meier method estimated overall survival (OS). Univariate and multivariable analyses to assess variable associations were conducted. 


Median follow-up was 22 months (interquartile range, 14-33 months). At 24 months, the CIF of LF was 23.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 15.1%-33.3%) and 8.3% (95% CI 2.6%-18.6%), respectively, for CRC and non-CRC metastases (P<.001). This association remained significant after adjusting for confounders (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR] 13.6, 95% CI 4.2-44.1, P<.001). Among CRC metastases, 56 and 45 received <60 Gy and 60 Gy, respectively. Delivering 60 Gy was independently associated with a lower hazard of LF (SHR 0.271, 95% CI 0.078-0.940, P=.040). At 12 months the CIF of progression was 41.67% (95% CI 21.69%-60.56%), 42.51% (95% CI 29.09%-55.29%), 62.96% (95% CI 41.25%-78.53%), and 78.57% (95% CI 42.20%-93.48%), respectively, for patients treated for single metastasis, oligometastases, oligoprogression, and dominant area of progression (P<.001). A CST was observed, respectively, in 4 (17%), 17 (31%), 12 (44%), and 10 (71%) patients with a median time of 13.1, 11.1, 8.4, and 8.4 months. Conclusion Colorectal cancer lung metastases are associated with a higher hazard of LF and require higher SABR doses. Outcomes for patients with oligometastases and oligoprogression treated with SABR seem favorable. Prospective clinical trials are needed to confirm these benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-427
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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