This is a research study for patients with inoperable lung cancer called non-small cell lung
cancer (NSCLC). Currently, the information from a radiological test, computed tomography
(CT) scan of the chest, is used to design the best arrangement of radiation beams which will
kill tumor cells and still spare the normal parts of lungs and other normal organs in the
chest. The purpose of this study is to explore whether adding information from another
radiological test, called positron emission tomography (PET), will improve the accuracy of
the radiation beam arrangement designed to treat lung cancer. A PET scan is a way to
picture the biochemistry of tissues and organs: of how tissues in the body take up glucose,
a normal nutrient of the body. The researchers will attempt to create radiation treatment
plans from PET images alone and compare differences between hypothetical plans and
standard-of-care CT-based radiation treatment plans. Because there is honest uncertainty
about the contribution of PET to radiation treatment planning, it is possible that there
will be no difference between a CT-based treatment plan and one resulting from PET
information. It is also possible that the addition of PET may result in a radiation beam
arrangement that may better control lung cancer. The addition of PET may also result in
treating less normal tissues, which may lower the risk of radiation side effects. This
study will provide the preliminary data necessary to design a larger clinical trial that may
define the role of PET in radiation treatment planning.
- Histologically confirmed locally advanced NSCLC (squamous, large cell
undifferentiated or adenocarcinoma).
- Disease limited to the thorax, adjacent mediastinum and neurovascular structures, and
supraclavicular or scalene lymph node area, as defined by the AJCC Staging System.
This includes patients with Stage IIIA and IIIB disease.
- Performance status of 0-2 by Southwest Oncology Group criteria.
- Medically inoperable patients (Stage I or II)
- Locoregional recurrent tumor following surgery will be eligible provided they meet
other eligibility criteria.