Involved-field radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer: disease control, patterns of failure and survival

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2010 Oct;54(5):483-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2010.02201.x.


Introduction: Major randomised trials have employed elective nodal irradiation as part of combined modality therapy for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). The present investigation describes patterns of failure, disease control, and survival outcomes for involved-field radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy, without elective irradiation of uninvolved mediastinal nodal regions.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of SCLC patients treated with curative-intent accelerated, twice-daily radiotherapy and concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy at an academic institution. Treatment fields were reviewed, and patients who completed ≥42 Gy in 1.5 Gy twice-daily fractions to involved fields (without elective irradiation of uninvolved mediastinal lymphatic regions) were included in the present analysis. Initial patterns of failure, disease control and overall survival were recorded.

Results: Fifty-two patients fulfilled study criteria and were included in the present analysis. All but one patient completed three to four cycles of chemotherapy, and 10 patients experienced grade 3 acute esophagitis. At a median survivor follow-up of 35 months (range 5.5-91.9), 22 patients were alive (15 without recurrence) and 30 had died (23 of/with disease, four of unknown cause, two of other cause and one of treatment toxicity). Initial site(s) of disease failure were loco-regional only (11 patients), distant only (14) and loco-regional plus distant (3). There were no cases of isolated out-of-field mediastinal recurrence in the absence of supraclavicular or more distant disease. The estimated 3-year disease-free and overall survivals were 36% and 44%, respectively.

Conclusions: Involved-field radiotherapy did not appear to have an adverse impact on the anticipated patterns of failure, disease control, or overall survival in this population of limited-stage SCLC patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Etoposide
  • Carboplatin
  • Cisplatin