Efficacy and safety of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in patients with previous pneumonectomy



Thoracic surgery for a newly diagnosed primary lung tumor following a previous pneumonectomy is rarely indicated. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) might represent a curative option. This report focuses on outcomes, toxicity and quality of life (QoL) after SABR.


Nine patients were treated with SABR between 2004 and 2011; median time since surgery was 8.4 years. In 4 cases, a histological confirmation was possible with bronchoscopy. In 5 cases, the clinical proof of malignancy was based on radiological criteria. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) were tested in all patients. A SABR biologically equivalent dose of >100 Gy was prescribed in all cases. QoL questionnaire forms were administered before SABR and during follow-up.


Median follow-up was 41.8 months. We did not observe grade ≥3 acute toxicity, and concerning late toxicity, we registered 2 cases. QoL was decreased during the first 12 months of follow-up, followed by a progressive improvement after this time. One patient had a local relapse at 7.4 years; 1 developed a new nodule at 5.5 years, associated with metastases; and 1 developed a new nodule without any systemic disease at 3 years. There were 2 cancer-related deaths (18.2%) at 3 and 12 months after progression.


Data support efficacy and safety of SABR in patients with a new primary lung cancer following previous pneumonectomy, with acceptable acute, late toxicity profile and without significant impairment of QoL. Our results were comparable to those in the literature.

Tumori 2015; 101(2): 148 - 153




Niccolò Giaj Levra, Andrea Riccardo Filippi, Alessia Guarneri, Serena Badellino, Cristina Mantovani, Enrico Ruffini, Umberto Ricardi

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflict of interest.

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  • Department of Oncology, Radiation Oncology Unit, University of Torino, Torino - Italy
  • Department of Surgical Sciences, Thoracic Surgery, University of Torino, Torino - Italy

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