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Clin Lung Cancer. 2012 May;13(3):225-35. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2011.11.002. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

International practice survey on palliative lung radiotherapy: third international consensus workshop on palliative radiotherapy and symptom control.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Western Ontario, London Ontario, Canada.



The purpose of this work was to disseminate international practice survey results created in conjunction with the Third International Lung Cancer Consensus Workshop.


In conjunction with the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Guideline for Palliative Lung Cancer Care and International Workshop Consensus statements, an online international practice survey was conducted during the summer of 2010. The survey included demographic, educational, and clinical questions as well as 5 cases exploring the role of external beam radiotherapy, endobronchial brachytherapy, and concurrent chemoradiation.


A total of 279 individuals responded to the survey over a 3-month period. Most respondents were hospital-based, academic, or government-funded radiation oncologists. Factors that consistently related to use and choice of external beam dose fractionation included estimated treatment benefit to patient, performance status (PS), symptom severity, patient choice, estimated prognosis, and previous radiation to the same site. Factors consistently not related to use and dose fractionation included requirement for future radiation therapy, department policy, and waiting lists. A significant range of dose fractionation schedules existed for external beam (n = 35) and endobronchial brachytherapy treatment (n = 10). The integration of concurrent chemotherapy was recorded by a significant minority of respondents despite lack of level I evidence to support its use. Geographic differences in the use of external beam dose fractionation and of concurrent chemotherapy were seen.


Various patient, tumor, treatment, and logistic factors are associated with the variable use and external beam dose fractionation of palliative lung treatments. The copublication of the ASTRO Guideline for Palliative Lung Cancer Care and International Workshop Consensus statements should assist clinicians by providing evidence-based care.

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