Thoracic radiation therapy for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer: Unanswered questions

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The role of thoracic radiation therapy (RT; TRT) is now established in the management of limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). There is increasing evidence in the literature in favor of early concurrent chemoradiation therapy, and a gold standard of care for patients with a good performance status is twice-daily TRT (45 Gy in 3 weeks) with concurrent cisplatin/etoposide. Five-year survival rates > 20% can be expected with this combined-modality approach. Although current clinical trials are exploring the efficacy of new chemotherapeutic strategies for the disease, essential questions related to the optimization of TRT remain unanswered. In particular, the optimal RT dose, fractionation, and treatment volume have not been defined. This review highlights the need for well-designed multinational trials aimed at the optimization and standardization of RT for limited-stage SCLC. These trials should integrate translational research studies to investigate the molecular basis of RT resistance and to develop biomarker profiles of prognosis.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Lung Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005