Idiopathic Pneumonitis Syndrome After Total Body Irradiation in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Myeloablative Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: A PENTEC Comprehensive Review

Eric D. Ehler, Lucie M. Turcotte, Sonia Skamene, K. Scott Baker, Shiva K. Das, Louis S. Constine, Jianling Yuan, Kathryn E. Dusenbery

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Purpose: Pulmonary complications, especially idiopathic pneumonitis syndrome (IPS), are potentially life altering or fatal sequelae of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Total body irradiation (TBI) as part of the conditioning regimen has been implicated in IPS. A comprehensive PENTEC (Pediatric Normal Tissues in the Clinic) review was performed to increase our understanding of the role of TBI in the development of acute, noninfectious IPS. Methods and Materials: A systematic literature search was conducted using the MEDLINE, PubMed, and Cochrane library databases for articles describing pulmonary toxicity in children treated with HCT. Data pertaining to TBI and pulmonary endpoints were extracted. Risk of IPS was analyzed in relation to patient age, TBI dose, fractionation, dose rate, lung shielding, timing, and type of transplant, with the goal to better understand factors associated with this complication in children undergoing HCT. A logistic regression model was developed using a subset of studies with comparable transplant regimens and sufficient TBI data. Results: Six studies met criteria for modeling of the correlation of TBI parameters with IPS; all consisted of pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic HCT with a cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy regimen. IPS was variably defined, but all studies that reported IPS were included in this analysis. The mean incidence of post-HCT IPS was 16% (range, 4%-41%). Mortality from IPS, when it occurred, was high (median, 50%; range, 45%-100%). Fractionated TBI prescription doses encompassed a narrow range of 9 to 14 Gy. Many differing TBI methods were reported, and there was an absence of 3-dimensional dose analysis of lung blocking techniques. Thus, a univariate correlation between IPS and total TBI dose, dose fractionation, dose rate, or TBI technique could not be made. However, a model, built from these studies based on prescribed dose using a normalized dose parameter of equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions (EQD2), adjusted for dose rate, suggested correlation with the development of IPS (P = .0004). The model-predicted odds ratio for IPS was 24.3 Gy–1 (95% confidence interval, 7.0-84.3). Use of TBI lung dose metrics (eg, midlung point dose) could not be successfully modeled, potentially because of dosimetric uncertainties in the actual delivered volumetric lung dose and imperfections in our modeling process. Conclusions: This PENTEC report is a comprehensive review of IPS in pediatric patients receiving fractionated TBI regimens for allogenic HCT. IPS was not clearly associated with 1 single TBI factor. Modeling using dose-rate adjusted EQD2 showed a response with IPS for allogeneic HCT using a cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy regimen. Therefore, this model suggests IPS mitigation strategies can focus on not just the dose and dose per fraction but also the dose rate used in TBI. More data are needed to confirm this model and to determine the influence of chemotherapy regimens and contribution from graft-versus-host disease. The presence of confounding variables (eg, systemic chemotherapies) that affect risk, the narrow range of fractionated TBI doses found in the literature, and limitations of other reported data (eg, lung point dose) may have prevented a more straightforward link between IPS and total dose from being observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

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© 2023 Elsevier Inc.

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