Send to

Choose Destination
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother. 2014 Jul 17;19(6):361-8. doi: 10.1016/j.rpor.2014.05.002. eCollection 2014 Nov.

Tolerability and toxicity of prophylactic cranial irradiation in patients with non-small cell lung cancer - Results of a phase II study (with estimation of hematological toxicity, pituitary function and magnetic resonance spectra changes).

Author information

Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Poland.



To evaluate the tolerability and toxicity of PCI in patients with NSCLC.


Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) is a standard treatment for patients with small cell lung cancer. There are data showing a decreasing ratio of brain metastases after PCI for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC-non small cell lung cancer) patients but, so far, there is no evidence for increasing overall survival. The main concern in this setting is the tolerance and toxicity of the treatment.


From 1999 to 2007, 50 patients with NSCLC treated with radical intent underwent PCI (30 Gy in 15 fractions). Mean follow-up was 2.8 years. The tolerability and hematological toxicity were evaluated in all patients, a part of participants had done neuropsychological tests, magnetic resonance imaging with (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, and estimation of pituitary function.


During follow-up, 20 patients developed distant metastases, 4-brain metastases. Fourteen (30%) patients had acute side effects: (headache, nausea, erythema of the skin). The symptoms did not require treatment breaks. Six patients complained of late side effects (vertigo, nausea, anxiety, lower extremity weakness, deterioration of hearing and olfactory hyperesthesia). Hematological complications were not observed. Testosterone levels tended to decrease (p = 0.062). Visual-motor function deteriorated after treatment (p < 0.059). Performance IQ decreased (p < 0.025) and the difference between performance IQ and verbal IQ increased (p < 0.011). Degenerative periventricular vascular changes were observed in two patients. Analysis of the spectroscopic data showed metabolic but reversible alterations after PCI.


PCI in the current series was well tolerated and associated with a relatively low toxicity.


MRS – 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectra; Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI); Testosterone level; Toxicity of radiotherapy

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center