The role of curative radiotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer

Cancer. 1980 Feb 15;45(4):698-702. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19800215)45:4<698::aid-cncr2820450414>;2-8.


From 1963-1974, 141 patients with lung cancer were treated with curative intent in the A. Maxwell Evans Clinic in Vancouver. The clinical presentation, age and sex distribution, histology, and reasons for surgery not being carried out are examined. The results of this treatment are presented. An attempt has been made to isolate a group of patients who have a better prognosis so that treatment selection can be improved. Hemoptysis, cough, dyspnea, and incidental finding on routine chest x-ray were the most common manner of presentation. Thirty-four percent of the patients were over 70 years of age and 13% were women. The crude overall three- and five-year survival rates were 18 and 10% (19 and 9% in the men, 17 and 14% in the women). Patients presenting with dyspnea had a better survival than those presenting with cough and hemoptysis. Patients with lesions less than 3 cm in diameter had a 28% three-year survival, compared with 14% for lesions greater than 5 cm in diameter. The three- and five-year survival rates in patients over 70 years of age were 23 and 17% respectively. The response to treatment and the survival was better in the patients with squamous cell carcinoma. Twenty-two percent were alive at three years and 12% at five years as compared with 9 and 5% for other histologies. Fifty-four percent of the 35 patients with a complete response and with squamous cell carcinoma were alive at three years, compared with only 8% of the 12 patients with other histologies who showed a complete response.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy*
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Radioisotope Teletherapy
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Time Factors