The predictive role of plasma TGF-β1 during radiation therapy for radiation-induced lung toxicity deserves further study in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Lujun Zhao, Kerby Sheldon, Ming Chen, Moli S. Yin, James A. Hayman, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Doug Arenberg, Susan E. Lyons, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Mary Davis, Kemp B. Cease, Dean Brenner, Mitchell S. Anscher, Theodore S. Lawrence, Feng Ming Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Background: This study aimed to further investigate the role of circulating TGF-β1 during radiation therapy (RT) in predicting radiation-induced lung toxicity (RILT). Methods and materials: Patients with stages I-III non-small cell lung cancer treated with RT based therapy were included in this study. Platelet poor plasma was obtained pre-RT, at 2 and 4 weeks during-RT, and at the end of RT. TGF-β1 was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The primary endpoint for RILT was ≥grade 2 radiation pneumonitis or fibrosis. Results: Twenty-six patients with a minimum follow-up of 12 months were included. Six patients (23.1%) experienced ≥grade 2 RILT. There was no significant difference in absolute TGF-β1 levels pre-RT, at 2 and 4 weeks during-RT, or at the end of RT between patients with and without RILT. The TGF-β1 ratios (over the pre-RT levels) for patients with and without RILT at 2, 4 weeks during-, and the end of RT were 2.8 ± 2.2 and 1.0 ± 0.6 (P = 0.123), 2.3 ± 1.3 and 0.8 ± 0.5 (P = 0.001), 1.5 ± 0.9 and 0.8 ± 0.5 (P = 0.098), respectively. Using 2.0 as a cut-off, the TGF-β1 ratio at 4 weeks during-RT predicted RILT with a sensitivity and specificity of 66.7% and 95.0%, respectively. Conclusion: Elevation of plasma TGF-β1 level 4 weeks during-RT is significantly predictive of RILT. The role of plasma TGF-β1 in predicting RILT deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-239
Number of pages8
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Lung cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiation-induced lung toxicity
  • Transforming growth factor β1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research

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