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Radiother Oncol. 1999 Aug;52(2):129-36.

A randomised phase III study of accelerated or standard fraction radiotherapy with or without concurrent carboplatin in inoperable non-small cell lung cancer: final report of an Australian multi-centre trial.

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Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, East Melbourne, Vic., Australia.



To investigate the effects separately and together of (a) shortening overall treatment time and (b) giving concurrent carboplatin in patients having radical radiotherapy for inoperable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Between April 1989 and May 1995, 204 patients with medically inoperable or technically unresectable NSCLC localised to the primary site and regional lymph nodes were randomised to receive one of four treatments using a 2 x 2 factorial design: standard radiotherapy, 60 Gy in 30 fractions in 6 weeks (R6); accelerated radiotherapy, 60 Gy in 30 fractions in 3 weeks (R3); standard radiotherapy as in R6 with carboplatin 70 mg/m2/day for 5 days during weeks 1 and 5 of radiotherapy (R6C); accelerated radiotherapy as in R3 with carboplatin 70 mg/m2/day for 5 days during week 1 of radiotherapy (R3C).


The estimated median survival of all randomised patients was 15.7 months and estimated 2-year survival was 31%. The longest survival was seen in patients randomised to R6C (median 20.3 months, 41% surviving at 2 years) but there were no statistically significant differences between treatment arms or treatment factors (carboplatin versus no carboplatin, accelerated versus conventional radiotherapy). Haematological toxicity was significantly greater in patients treated with carboplatin and oesophageal toxicity was significantly greater and more protracted in patients treated with accelerated radiotherapy.


This study failed to show a significant survival advantage for any of the treatment arms or factors. Halving overall treatment time resulted in significantly greater oesophageal toxicity with no suggestion of a survival advantage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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