Systematic endoscopic staging of mediastinum to determine impact on radiotherapy for locally advanced lung cancer (SEISMIC): protocol for a prospective single arm multicentre interventional study

Daniel P. Steinfort, Shankar Siva, Kanishka Rangamuwa, Percy Lee, David Fielding, Phan Nguyen, Barton R. Jennings, Shaun Yo, Nick Hardcastle, Gargi Kothari, Laurence Crombag, Jouke Annema, Kazuhiro Yasufuku, David E. Ost, Louis B. Irving

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Background: Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is established as the preferred method of mediastinal lymph node (LN) staging in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Selective (targeted) LN sampling is most commonly performed however studies in early stage NSCLC and locally advanced NSCLC confirm systematic EBUS-TBNA evaluation improves accuracy of mediastinal staging. This study aims to establish the rate of detection of positron emission tomography (PET)-occult LN metastases following systematic LN staging by EBUS-TBNA, and to determine the utility of systematic mediastinal staging for accurate delineation of radiation treatment fields in patients with locally advanced NSCLC. Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing EBUS-TBNA for diagnosis/staging of locally advanced NSCLC will be enrolled in this international multi-centre single arm study. Systematic mediastinal LN evaluation will be performed, with all LN exceeding 6 mm to be sampled by TBNA. Where feasible, endoscopic ultrasound staging (EUS-B) may also be performed. Results of minimally invasive staging will be compared to FDG-PET. The primary end-point is proportion of patients in whom systematic LN staging identified PET-occult NSCLC metastases. Secondary outcome measures include (i) rate of nodal upstaging, (ii) false positive rate of PET for mediastinal LN assessment, (iii) analysis of clinicoradiologic risk factors for presence of PET-occult LN metastases, (iv) impact of systematic LN staging in patients with discrepant findings on PET and EBUS-TBNA on target coverage and dose to organs at risk (OAR) in patients undergoing radiotherapy. Discussion: With specificity of PET of 90%, guidelines recommend tissue confirmation of positive mediastinal LN to ensure potentially early stage patients are not erroneously denied potentially curative resection. However, while confirmation of pathologic LN is routinely sought, the exact extent of mediastinal LN involvement in NSCLC in patient with Stage III NSCLC is rarely established. Studies examining systematic LN staging in early stage NSCLC report a significant discordance between PET and EBUS-TBNA. In patients with locally advanced disease this has significant implications for radiation field planning, with risk of geographic miss in the event of PET-occult mediastinal LN metastases. The SEISMIC study will examine both diagnostic outcomes following systematic LN staging with EBUS-TBNA, and impact on radiation treatment planning. Trial registration: ACTRN12617000333314, ANZCTR, Registered on 3 March 2017.
Original languageEnglish
Article number364
JournalBMC pulmonary medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Bronchoscopy
  • Cancer staging
  • Carcinoma
  • Endoscopic ultrasonography
  • Non-small-cell lung

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