The role of palliative radiotherapy in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer

ÇETİNGÖZ E. R., Kentli S., Uruk O., DEMİRTAŞ E., Sen M., Kinay M.

Neoplasma, vol.48, no.6, pp.506-510, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Journal Name: Neoplasma
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.506-510
  • Keywords: Locally advanced NSCLC, Non-small cell lung cancer, Palliative radiotherapy, Symptom palliation
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


The aim of this study was to evaluate retrospectively the treatment results of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with palliative intent in Dokuz Eylul University Hospital, Radiation Oncology Department. One hundred and fifteen inoperable, non-metastatic and symptomatic NSCLC patients were treated with palliative radiotherapy (PRT) between July 1991 and May 2000. PRT was used in patients with low performance status, weight loss more than 10% within last 6 months, secondary malignancies, co-morbid diseases and socio-economic problems. Parallelly opposed isocentric antero-posterior fields including both the parenchymal and mediastinal masses were used. 10-55 Gy total doses were delivered in 1-23 fractions with a median of 30 Gy. Nineteen patients received systemic chemotherapy before PRT. Survival analysis was made from the treatment beginning date, and subjective palliation rates were assessed according to clinical improvements in symptomatology evaluated 1-6 weeks after PRT. The median follow-up time was 28 weeks (1-234 weeks). Totally, 245 disease-related symptoms were detected in 115 patients. Overall "improvement" in symptomatology was found to be 90% (221/245) with a "near-total response" rate of 46% (113/245). Hemoptysis was the best palliated symptom. Median survival time was 30 weeks. Karnofsky performance status (KPS) (p=0.015), weight loss (p=0.0015), histologic tumor type (p=0.0024) and tumor size (p=0.02) were found to effect overall survival rates significantly in uni-variant analysis. Multi-variant analysis revealed statistically significant effect with histological tumor type and weight loss status. Only 16% of patients (3/19) showed partial and 5% (1/19) complete response to systemic treatment. Median survival time was 46 weeks in this group. In conclusion, this retrospective study of patients with poor prognostic factors confirms that PRT is an effective treatment modality in symptomatic locally advanced NSCLC patients resulting in 90% symptomatic improvement rate and a median survival of 30 weeks.