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Lung Cancer. 2002 Feb;35(2):203-7.

A short radiotherapy course for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): effective palliation and patients' convenience.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA Hospital, 1 St. Kyriakidi str., Thessaloniki, 54636 Greece.


In order to facilitate patients with symptomatic locally advanced NSCLC, especially those coming from remote areas we have employed two palliative RT schedules. The first (S1) is the well known from Medical Research Council (MRC) randomized studies 2 x 8.5 Gy one week apart and the second (S2) is a two-day RT schedule: three fractions of 4.25 Gy are given on the first day and two fractions of 4.25 Gy on the second day. The records of 92 patients were reviewed (48 for S1 and 44 for S2). Patients, disease characteristics and results were similar for both groups; rates of symptom disappearance were for S1 and S2, respectively: cough 24 and 20%, hemoptysis 60 and 67%, chest pain 57 and 64% and dyspnoea 55 and 45% The overall condition improved in 39 and 36%, respectively. The median palliation time in days was in S1 and S2, respectively: cough 70 and 66, haemoptysis 133 and 139, chest pain 68 and 62 and dyspnoea 74 and 69 days. The median survival was 25 weeks in both S1 and S2 groups (P=0.89 log-rank test). At 52 weeks (one year), ten (21%) and seven (16%) of the patients were alive in S1 and S2 groups, respectively. At 104 weeks, the corresponding figures were two (4%) and two (4.7%) for S1 and S2. Our results are in accordance to those reported in literature regarding the safety and efficacy of palliative hypofractionated radiotherapy schemes. Their use in selected patients could be cost-effective and convenient for patients especially those coming from remote areas.

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