This study retrospectively reviewed 219 patients with stage III NSCLC who received definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy. 25 patients (11.4%) underwent PBSPT (23 with single-field optimization) and 194 patients (88.6%) underwent IMRT. Patients treated with PBSPT were older (median: 67 vs. 62 years) and had worse pulmonary function at baseline (both FEV1 and DLCO) compared to those treated with IMRT. With comparable target coverage, PBSPT exhibited superior sparing of the lung, heart, and spinal cord to radiation exposure compared to IMRT.
At a median follow-up of 21.7 (interquartile range: 16.8-26.8) months, the 2-year LRC rates were 72.1% and 84.1% in the IMRT and PBSPT groups, respectively (p = 0.287). The rates of grade ≥ 3 esophagitis were 8.2% and 20.0% after IMRT and PBSPT (p = 0.073), respectively, while corresponding rates of grade ≥ 2 radiation pneumonitis were 28.9% and 16.0%, respectively (p = 0.263).