The evolving toxicity profile of SBRT for lung cancer

Marcher Thompson, Kenneth E. Rosenzweig


Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is an effective and well tolerated treatment for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The high doses used in thoracic SBRT can sometimes cause adverse effects ranging from mild fatigue and transient esophagitis to fatal events such as pneumonitis or hemorrhage. Efforts continue to expand in both the utility of this technique as well as our understanding of the mechanisms of the adverse effects it can cause. In this review, we discuss the current literature regarding the potential mechanisms, dosimetric constraints and toxicities associated with SBRT alone and in conjunction with definitive chemoradiotherapy and immunotherapy. As the use of SBRT expands to these spheres, we examine the available recommendations for mitigating potential associated treatment related toxicities.