Once-a-week vs conventional daily radiation treatment for lung cancer: final report

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1988 Jul;15(1):61-8. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(88)90347-1.


This is the final report of a prospective randomized clinical trial which began in 1982 and explored once-a-week hypofractionation in lung cancer patients with unresectable, non-metastatic, measurable, loco-regionally advanced disease. Stratification to this protocol has been done by histology, stage, and performance status categories. Patients with ipsilateral supraclavicular and/or brain metastases as the only evidence of distant spread, have been included in the study, but were stratified and analyzed separately. The two protocol arms were: (I) Conventional daily radiation [5 x W]-5 daily fractions of 2 Gy each to a total dose of 60 Gy in 6 weeks, protecting the spinal (SC) at 45 Gy and (II) Once-a-week radiation [1 x W]-one weekly fraction of 5 Gy each to a total tumor dose of 60 Gy in 12 weeks protecting the SC at 30 Gy. A total of 150 patients have been entered. Of these, 30 pts. are inevaluable, but the reasons of non-compliance, progression of disease or death due to intercurrent disease were of equal incidence in both groups. Of the 120 evaluable patients, 63 were treated 5 x W and 57 with 1 x W therapy. Complete tumor responses are similar in both arms with 1 x W pts demonstrating a numerical advantage (26% vs 17%). The average follow-up of the entire series is 3 yrs with a range of 12-66 months. Survival data is comparable in both groups with the 12 and 24 month actuarial survival of 49% and 23% for the 5 x W arm and 59% and 29% for the 1 x W arm. 1 x W patients continue to show a better tolerance than 5 x W pts. There are sufficient long-term survivors in both arms to assess chronic toxicity. The number of patients alive at 12, 18, and 24 months were 25, 11, and 5 for the 5 x W arm and 29, 16, and 7 for the 1 x W arm. No significant differences in late reactions have been noted. The longest surviving patient in the 1 x W arm is now 48 months after treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Random Allocation