Optimal timing of thoracic irradiation for limited stage small cell lung cancer: Current evidence and future prospects

World J Clin Oncol. 2022 Feb 24;13(2):116-124. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v13.i2.116.


Lung cancer is a global health concern as the leading cause of cancer related mortality worldwide. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) poses a formidable challenge to the treating physicians with the worst prognosis among all lung cancers. However, limited stage SCLC (LS-SCLC) has a relatively better outcome with multimodality management. Efforts have been focused on optimal integration of treatment modalities to achieve an improved therapeutic ratio for patients with LS-SCLC. While chemotherapy and thoracic radiation therapy (TRT) are primary components of initial management for LS-SCLC, there is no consensus on optimal timing of TRT. Within this context, we herein provide a concise overview of current evidence and future prospects regarding the optimal timing of thoracic irradiation for LS-SCLC in light of the literature.

Keywords: Limited stage small cell lung cancer; Small cell lung cancer; Thoracic irradiation; Thoracic radiation therapy; Timing of thoracic radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Review