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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Oct 1;42(3):479-86.

A pilot trial of hyperfractionated thoracic radiation therapy with concurrent cisplatin and oral etoposide for locally advanced inoperable non-small-cell lung cancer: a 5-year follow-up report.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



To improve the outcome of patients with locally advanced inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we conducted a pilot trial of concurrent chemoradiation therapy using a cisplatin and oral etoposide regimen given concurrently with hyperfractionated radiation therapy.


In this single-institution pilot trial, we enrolled 23 patients with inoperable Stage IIIa (4) and IIIb (19) NSCLC. Treatment consisted of two cycles of chemotherapy with oral etoposide 50 mg one day alternating with 50 mg b.i.d. (50 mg/day if BSA is < 1.70 m2) on days 1-21 and intravenous cisplatin (40 mg/m2) on days 1 and 8 of a 28-day cycle. Radiation therapy was given twice a day (1.2 Gy per fraction), 5 days a week, to a total dose of 69.6 Gy in 58 fractions over 6 weeks.


Overall, 18 (78%) of the 23 patients completed the chemotherapy as planned and 21 (91%) received thoracic irradiation per protocol. One patient died of radiation pneumonitis. Fourteen (78%) of 18 evaluable patients achieved objective responses. The median survival duration was 9.3 months for all patients and 20.2 months for 15 patients who had no more than 5% weight loss. After a minimum follow-up of 5 years, five patients (1 IIIa, 4 IIIb) are still alive and disease-free, which gives an actual 5-year survival rate of 22%. Four of the five 5-year survivors were among those who completed the treatment as planned.


This long-term survival outcome compares favorably with that of other chemoradiation therapy trials and even with those reported in multimodality trials including surgery. These results suggest that intensive concurrent chemoradiation therapy is feasible, and some patients with locally advanced inoperable NSCLC may enjoy long-term survivorship following nonsurgical therapy.

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