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Radiat Oncol. 2012 Sep 7;7:150. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-7-150.

Treatment outcome and toxicity of intensity-modulated (chemo) radiotherapy in stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, Nijmegen 6500 HB, The Netherlands.



The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to assess treatment outcome, and acute pulmonary and esophageal toxicity using intensity modulated (sequential/concurrent chemo)radiotherapy (IMRT) in locally advanced stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Eighty-six patients with advanced stage NSCLC, treated with either IMRT only (66 Gy) or combined with (sequential or concurrent) chemotherapy were retrospectively included in this study. Overall survival and metastasis-free survival were assessed as well as acute pulmonary and esophageal toxicity using the RTOG Acute Radiation Morbidity Scoring Criteria.


Irrespective of the treatment modality, the overall survival rate for patients receiving 66 Gy was 71% (± 11%; 95% CI) after one year and 56% (± 14%) after two years resulting in a median overall survival of 29.7 months. Metastasis-free survival was 73% (± 11%) after both one and two years. There were no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups. Treatment related esophageal toxicity was significantly more pronounced in the concurrent chemoradiotherapy group (p = 0.013) with no differences in pulmonary toxicity.


This retrospective cohort study in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients shows that IMRT is an effective technique with acceptable acute toxicity, also when (sequentially or concomitantly) combined with chemotherapy.

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