Limited-stage small-cell lung cancer: patient survival after combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy with and without treatment protocols

Radiology. 1995 Dec;197(3):859-62. doi: 10.1148/radiology.197.3.7480770.


Purpose: To compare survival of patients who undergo treatment in protocols versus survival of patients not in protocols.

Materials and methods: Records of 81 adult patients with small-cell lung cancer who underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy in 1987-1992 were reviewed retrospectively. Forty-one patients were in a protocol; 40 patients were not. Patient demographics and prognostic factors were not statistically significantly different.

Results: Median overall survival was 16.7 months in the nonprotocol group versus 29.0 months in the protocol group (P = .0023). Median disease-specific survival was 18.3 months in the nonprotocol group versus 27.1 months in the protocol group (P = .0176). Survival was not statistically significantly influenced by Karnofsky performance status, weight loss, or thoracic radiation dose.

Conclusion: There was a highly statistically significant difference in survival outcome in the nonprotocol group versus the protocol group (P = .0023). Differences in chemotherapy-radiation therapy timing and other treatment-related factors may have contributed substantially to the improved survival in the protocol group.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Thorax / radiation effects
  • Weight Loss