Early Identification of Pneumonitis in Patients Irradiated for Lung Cancer—Final Results of the PARALUC Trial

Dirk Rades*, Elisa M. Werner, Esther Glatzel, Sabine Bohnet, Steven E. Schild, Søren S. Tvilsted, Stefan Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work


Radiotherapy of lung cancer may cause pneumonitis that generally occurs weeks or months following therapy and can be missed. This prospective trial aimed to pave the way for a mobile application (app) allowing early diagnosis of pneumonitis. The primary goal was the identification of the optimal cut-off of a score to detect pneumonitis of grade ≥2 after radiotherapy for lung cancer. Based on the severity of symptoms (cough, dyspnea, fever), scoring points were 0–9. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC)-curves were used to describe the sensitivity and specificity. The area under the ROC-curve (AUC) was calculated to judge the accuracy of the score, Youden-index was employed to define the optimal cut-off. Until trial termination, 57 of 98 patients were included. Eight of 42 patients evaluable for the primary endpoint (presence or absence of radiation pneumonitis) experienced pneumonitis. AUC was 0.987 (0.961–1.000). The highest sensitivity was achieved with 0–4 points (100%), followed by 5 points (87.5%), highest specificity with 5–6 points (100%). The highest Youden-index was found for 5 points (87.5%). The rate of patient satisfaction with the symptom-based scoring system was 93.5%. A cut-off of 5 points was identified as optimal to differentiate between pneumonitis and no pneumonitis. Moreover, pneumonitis was significantly associated with an increase of ≥3 points from baseline (p < 0.0001). The scoring system provided excellent accuracy and high patient satisfaction. Important foundations for the development of a mobile application were laid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number326
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 04.01.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)


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