We hypothesized that optimizing the utility of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) based on the individual patient's probability for tumor control and risk of liver injury would decrease toxicity without sacrificing local control in patients with impaired liver function or tumors not amenable to thermal ablation.
Patients with Child-Pugh (CP) A to B7 liver function with aggregate tumor size >3.5 cm, or CP ≥ B8 with any size tumor were prospectively enrolled on an Institutional Review Board–approved phase II clinical trial to undergo SBRT with baseline and midtreatment dose optimization using a quantitative, individualized utility-based analysis. Primary endpoints were change in CP score of ≥2 points within 6 months and local control. Protocol-treated patients were compared with patients receiving conventional SBRT at another cancer center using overlap weighting.
A total of 56 patients with 80 treated tumors were analyzed with a median follow-up of 11.2 months. Two-year cumulative incidence of local progression was 6.4% [95% confidence interval (CI, 2.4–13.4)]. Twenty-one percent of patients experienced treatment-related toxicity within 6 months, which is similar to the rate for SBRT in patients with CP A liver function. An analysis using overlap weighting revealed similar local control [HR, 0.69; 95% CI (0.25–1.91); P = 0.48] and decreased toxicity [OR, 0.26; 95% CI (0.07–0.99); P = 0.048] compared with conventional SBRT.
Treatment of individuals with impaired liver function or tumors not amenable to thermal ablation with a treatment paradigm designed to optimize utility may decrease treatment-related toxicity while maintaining tumor control.