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Strahlenther Onkol. 2010 Oct;186(10):551-7. doi: 10.1007/s00066-010-2108-3. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

Non-small cell lung cancer in stages I-IIIB: Long-term results of definitive radiotherapy with doses ≥ 80 Gy in standard fractionation.

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University Clinic of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology and radART - Institute for research and development on Advanced Radiation Technologies, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.



To investigate therapeutic outcome of dose escalation ≥ 80 Gy in nonresected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


124 consecutive patients with histologically/cytologically proven NSCLC were enrolled. Tumor stage I, II, IIIA, and IIIB was diagnosed in 30, eight, 39, and 47 patients, respectively. 38 patients (31%) had weight loss > 5% during the 3 months before diagnosis. A median dose of 88.2 Gy (range 80.0-96.0 Gy), 69.3 Gy (63.0-88.0 Gy) and 56.7 Gy was applied to primary lesions, involved lymph nodes, and elective nodes (within a region of about 6 cm cranial to macroscopically involved nodes), respectively. Daily fractional ICRU doses of 2.0-2.2 Gy were delivered by the conformal target-splitting technique. 58 patients (47%) received induction chemotherapy, in median two cycles prior to radiotherapy.


Median follow-up time of all patients was 19 months, of patients alive 72.4 months (69-121 months). The cumulative actual overall survival rate at 2 and 5 years amounts to 39% and 11.3%, respectively, resulting in a median overall survival time of 19.6 months. According to stages I, II, IIIA, and IIIB, the median overall survival times are 31.8, 31.4, 19.0, and 14.5 months, respectively. The locoregional tumor control rate at 2 years is 49%. Apart from one treatment-related death (pneumonitis), acute toxicity according to EORTC/RTOG scores was moderate: lung grade 2 (n = 7), grade 3 (n = 3); esophagus grade 1 (n = 11); heart grade 3 (n = 1, pericarditis). No late toxicity grade > 1 has been observed.


Sequential, conventionally fractionated high-dose radiotherapy by conformal target splitting is well tolerated. The results for survival and locoregional tumor control seem to at least equalize the outcome of simultaneous chemoradiation approaches, which, at present, are considered "state of the art" for patients with nonresected NSCLC. A higher potential of radiation therapy might be reached by accelerated fractionation regimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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