Purpose: To prospectively investigate the efficacy and toxicity of accelerated hypofractionated thoracic radiation therapy (HypoTRT) combined with concurrent chemotherapy in the treatment of limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC), with the hypothesis that both high radiation dose and short radiation time are important in this setting.
Methods and materials: Patients with previously untreated LS-SCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2, and adequate organ function were eligible. HypoTRT of 55 Gy at 2.5 Gy per fraction over 30 days was given on the first day of the second or third cycle of chemotherapy. An etoposide/cisplatin regimen was given to 4 to 6 cycles. Patients who had a good response to initial treatment were offered prophylactic cranial irradiation. The primary endpoint was the 2-year progression-free survival rate.
Results: Fifty-nine patients were enrolled from July 2007 through February 2012 (median age, 58 years; 86% male). The 2-year progression-free survival rate was 49.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 35.3%-62.7%). Median survival time was 28.5 months (95% CI 9.0-48.0 months); the 2-year overall survival rate was 58.2% (95% CI 44.5%-71.9%). The 2-year local control rate was 76.4% (95% CI 63.7%-89.1%). The severe hematologic toxicities (grade 3 or 4) were leukopenia (32%), neutropenia (25%), and thrombocytopenia (15%). Acute esophagitis and pneumonitis of grade ≥3 occurred in 25% and 10% of the patients, respectively. Thirty-eight patients (64%) received prophylactic cranial irradiation.
Conclusion: Our study showed that HypoTRT of 55 Gy at 2.5 Gy per fraction daily concurrently with etoposide/cisplatin chemotherapy has favorable survival and acceptable toxicity. This radiation schedule deserves further investigation in LS-SCLC.
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