Malignant tracheal necrosis and fistula formation following palliative chemoradiotherapy: a case report
Concurrent chemoradiotherapy is an essential treatment strategy for inoperable locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although supportive care has improved, unexpected complications due to the disease or treatment can occur. Tracheomediastinal fistulas are very rare but can be a serious problem. Herein, we report a case of severe chondronecrosis of the distal trachea with formation of a fistula into a metastatic lymphadenopathy in a patient with stage IIIB NSCLC. The patient received external beam radiotherapy with a total dose of 35 Gy in 14 fractions, which was approximately half of the conventional therapeutic radiotherapy dose, along with concurrent cisplatin based chemotherapy. Careful evaluation, early detection, and timely intervention are essential to prevent and appropriately treat chondronecrosis, even in cases of low-dose radiotherapy application to central tumors.