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J BUON. 2009 Jan-Mar;14(1):33-40.

Is re-irradiation effective in symptomatic local recurrence of non small cell lung cancer patients? A single institution experience and review of the literature.

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Dokuz Eylul University Medical School, Department of Radiation Oncology, Izmir, Turkey.



To determine reirradiation results of patients with recurrent non-metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


38 NSCLC patients who showed clinical and/or radiological progression and were retreated with hypofractionated irradiation (RT) were retrospectively evaluated. Two parallel or oblique opposed fields were used for reirradiation of the recurrent tumor while excluding the spinal cord. "Improvement" and "complete or near complete response" were defined as > or = 50% and 75-100% regression of symptoms, respectively. Log-rank test, chi-square test and Cox regression analysis were used for statistical analyses.


Median age was 58 years (range 33-80) and only 3 patients were females. Median follow-up was 13.5 months (range 4-65). In the initial and second course of RT the total dose was 30 Gy (range 28.8-67.2) and 25 Gy (range 5-30) and the number of fractions was 10 (range 9-33) and 10 (range 1-10), respectively. The median interval between the two RT courses was 35 weeks (range 4-189). After reirradiation improvement was observed in 86% of the patients assessable for hemoptysis, in 77% with cough, in 69% with dyspnea, and in 60% with thoracic pain. After reirradiation, the median survival time was 3 months (range 0-55). Two-year survival rates from diagnosis were 28.8% and from reirradiation 5.8%. An interval more than 35 weeks between the end of initial RT and the start of reirradiation was found as the only independent prognostic factor affecting survival. No grade III-IV RTOG late side effects were observed.


In initially non-metastatic NSCLC patients, reirradiation can be a safe and effective treatment for palliation after recurrence. Large prospective studies are needed to confirm the safety, effectiveness and economical advantages of this modality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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