Research Overview: Cardiac Comorbidity and Radiation-Induced Lung Toxicity (RILT)

Research led by Georgi Nalbantov PhD, Head of Data Science @ VectorLabs.AI, to examine the impact of pre-existing cardiac conditions on radiation-induced lung toxicity (RILT) after high-dose radio(chemo)therapy for lung cancer.


  • Traditionally, radiation effect on the heart and lungs were studied separately
  • Recent studies reveal a short-term interaction between heart irradiation and lung dysfunction
  • This study bridges the gap by investigating how cardiac issues affect RILT in the short term 


  • 28.9% of patients had cardiac comorbidity before radiotherapy
  • 44% of patients had cardiac comorbidity before radiotherapy
  • Patients with cardiac comorbidity had 2.58 times higher odds of developing RILT

Predictive model for RILT:

  • A model was built which helps identify patients at higher risk of RILT
  • This model incorporates cardiac comorbidity, tumour location, lung function, chemotherapy, and pretreatment dyspnea score
  • The model demonstrated an Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 0.72 in the training set and 0.67 in the validation set, signifying its predictive performance



Key implications:

  • Cardiac comorbidity contributes significantly to RILT cases
  • Tailored treatment approaches are essential for patients with cardiac comorbidity
  • Excluding these patients from dose escalation studies may optimize outcomes

Case Studies

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