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Diabetes mellitus is a predictive factor for radiation pneumonitis after thoracic radiotherapy in patients with lung cancer

Authors Kong M, Lim YJ, Kim Y, Chung MJ, Min S, Shin DO, Chung W

Received 26 March 2019

Accepted for publication 10 July 2019

Published 26 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 7103—7110

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S210095

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Nicola Ludin

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Rudolph Navari


Moonkyoo Kong,1 Yu Jin Lim,1 Youngkyong Kim,1 Mi Joo Chung,2 Soonki Min,1 Dong Oh Shin,1 Weonkuu Chung2

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Purpose: We evaluated the effects of diabetes mellitus (DM) and DM-related serologic factors (HbA1c and fasting glucose) on the development of radiation pneumonitis in patients with lung cancer.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 123 patients with lung cancer treated with radiotherapy. Radiation pneumonitis was scored according to the toxicity criteria of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. We used binary logistic regression analysis to find significant predictive factors for the development of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis.
Results: On univariable analysis, V20, mean lung dose, DM, HbA1c, and fasting glucose level were significantly associated with the development of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis. On multivariable analysis, V20, mean lung dose, DM, HbA1c, and fasting glucose level remained significant predictive factors for grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis. The incidence of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis was 44.4% in patients with DM and 20.7% in patients without DM. The incidence of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis was 12.7% for HbA1c level ≤6.15% and 41.5% for HbA1c level >6.15%. The incidence of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis was 17.2% for fasting glucose level ≤121 mg/dL and 35.5% for fasting glucose level >121 mg/dL.
Conclusion: DM, HbA1c, and fasting glucose level are significant predictive factors for the development of grade ≥3 radiation pneumonitis in patients with lung cancer. Patients with DM, patients who have HbA1c >6.15%, and patients who have fasting glucose >121 mg/dL should be treated with greater caution.

Keywords: lung cancer, radiotherapy, radiation pneumonitis, diabetes mellitus


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