Background: Trimodality therapy is a treatment option for patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). Thoracic radiation has both early (radiation pneumonitis) and late (chronic lung injury [CLI]) adverse effects on the lung. While CLI is expected to result in various problems in long-term survivors, these manifestations have not been precisely investigated. Methods: We enrolled 112 LA-NSCLC patients who had received induction chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery, and then undergone follow-up computed tomography (CT) every 6 months for greater than 1 year. All chest CT images were reviewed to evaluate any injury of the pulmonary parenchyma. Results: CLI at 1 year after surgery and its progression were observed in 94 (84%) and 38 (34%) patients, respectively. Progressive lung fibrosis as the first manifestation of CLI progression was most frequent after right middle and lower lobectomy. Cavity formation was the subsequent manifestation after progressive lung fibrosis, and chronic infection was the final stage of CLI. The cumulative rate of chronic infection was 76.4% at 10 years in patients with cavity formation. Ten patients with chronic infection included 7 cases of pulmonary aspergillosis and 2 cases of cavity infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Among them, 4 patients required surgical interventions including completion pneumonectomy or fenestration. Conclusions: CLI is a common incidence after trimodality therapy for LA-NSCLC. CLI frequently results in cavity formation, which is a precursor of highly refractory chronic infections requiring surgical intervention. Appropriate management needs to be established for CLI developing after trimodality therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine