Introduction: The aim of the study was to investigate repetitive fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measurements during high-dose radiation therapy (HDRT) and to evaluate the use of FeNO to predict symptomatic radiation pneumonitis (RP) in patients being treated for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Materials and methods: A total of 50 patients with NSCLC referred for HDRT were enrolled. FeNO was measured at baseline, weekly during HDRT, one month- and every third month after HDRT for a one-year follow-up period. The mean FeNO(visit 0-6) was calculated using the arithmetic mean of the baseline and weekly measurements during HDRT. Patients with grade ≥ 2 of RP according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) were considered symptomatic.

Results: A total of 42 patients completed HDRT and weekly FeNO measurements. Grade ≥ 2 of RP was diagnosed in 24 (57%) patients. The mean FeNO(visit 0-6) ± standard deviation in patients with and without RP was 15.0 ± 7.1 ppb (95%CI: 12.0-18.0) and 10.3 ± 3.4 ppb (95%CI: 8.6-11.9) respectively with significant differences between the groups (p = 0.0169, 95%CI: 2.3-2.6). The leave-one-out cross-validated cut-off value of the mean FeNO(visit 0-6) ≥ 14.8 ppb was predictive of grade ≥ 2 RP with a specificity of 71% and a positive predictive value of 78%.

Conclusions: The mean FeNO(visit 0-6) in patients with symptomatic RP after HDRT for NSCLC was significantly higher than in patients without RP and may serve as a potential biomarker for RP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and translational radiation oncology
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Fractional exhaled nitric oxide as a potential biomarker for radiation pneumonitis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this