Prospective Study of Hippocampal-Sparing Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation in Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

Kristin J. Redmond, Russell K. Hales, Heather Anderson-Keightly, Xian C. Zhou, Megan Kummerlowe, Haris I. Sair, Mario Duhon, Lawrence Kleinberg, Gary L. Rosner, Tracy Vannorsdall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose: To prospectively evaluate cognitive function and intracranial failure patterns after hippocampal-sparing prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) for limited-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Methods and Materials: Adults with limited-stage SCLC, achieving a complete response to chemoradiotherapy and no brain metastases, were eligible. Patients received PCI 25 Gy/10 fractions, with a mean hippocampal dose limited to <8 Gy and ≥90% of the brain receiving 90% of the prescription. A diverse battery of neuropsychological testing was performed at baseline and 6 and 12 months after PCI. Brain MRI scans were performed at baseline and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. The primary endpoint was memory measured by the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised Delayed Recall at 6 months after PCI. The 25-Gy arm of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group protocol 0212 was used as a reference of potential efficacy. Development of intracranial metastases was recorded. Overall survival and progression-free survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Eight men and 12 women with a median age of 61 years enrolled. Two-year overall survival was 88% (95% confidence interval 68%-100%). There was no significant decline in performance between baseline and 6 or 12 months for any of the tests. The association between baseline intelligence quotient and change in performance on testing was not significant. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed asymptomatic brain metastases at a cumulative rate of 20%, with no concurrent extracranial progression. Two patients developed a metastasis in the under-dosed region. Neither involved the dentate gyrus, but 1 involved the avoidance region. Both patients concurrently developed additional metastasis in fully treated brain regions. There were 2 neurologic deaths. Conclusions: This prospective study suggests a potential benefit of hippocampal sparing in limiting the neuropsychological sequelae of brain radiation, but with a risk of failures in the spared region. These data strongly support continued enrollment on ongoing cooperative group randomized trials. Clinical Trials registration number: NCT01797159.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Prospective Study of Hippocampal-Sparing Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation in Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this