Accelerated hyperfractionated radiotherapy combined with induction and concomitant chemotherapy for inoperable non-small-cell lung cancer--impact of total treatment time.
Journal article, 1998

Tumour cell proliferation during conventionally fractionated radiotherapy (RT) can negatively influence the treatment outcome in patients with unresectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Accelerated and hyperfractionated RT may therefore have an advantage over conventional RT. Moreover, earlier studies have suggested improved survival with addition of cisplatin-based chemotherapy (CT). We present here the results of combined treatment with induction and concomitant CT and accelerated hyperfractionated RT in a retrospective series of patients with advanced NSCLC. Between August 1990 and August 1995, 90 consecutive patients, aged 42-77 years (median 63 years), with locally advanced unresectable or medically inoperable NSCLC and good performance status were referred for treatment: stage: I 23%, IIIa 37%, IIIb 40%. Patient histologies included: squamous cell carcinoma 52%, adenocarcinoma 34% and large cell carcinoma 13%. The treatment consisted of two courses of CT (cisplatin 100 mg/m2 day 1 and etoposide 100 mg/m2 day 1-3 i.v.), the second course given concomitantly with RT. The total RT dose was 61.2-64.6 Gy, with two daily fractions of 1.7 Gy. A one-week interval was introduced after 40.8 Gy to reduce acute toxicity, making the total treatment time 4.5 weeks. Concerning toxicity, 33 patients had febrile neutropenia, 10 patients suffered from grade III oesophagitis and 7 patients had grade III pneumonitis. There were two possible treatment-related deaths, one due to myocardial infarction and the other due to a pneumocystis carinii infection. The 1-, 2- and 3-year overall survival rates were 72%, 46% and 34%, respectively; median survival was 21.3 months. Fifty-nine patients had progressive disease: 21 failed locoregionally, 29 had distant metastases and 9 patients had a combination of these. Pretreatment weight loss was the only prognostic factor found, except for stage. However, the results for stage IIIb were no different from those for stage IIIa. We conclude that the survival results compare favourably with those of most other studies with a manageable toxicity.

drug therapy

Middle Aged








therapeutic use




Lung Neoplasms

Survival Rate

adverse effects

Non-Small-Cell Lung


drug therapy



Retrospective Studies

administration & dosage

Dose Fractionation

administration & dosage

Combined Modality Therapy


Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols


Treatment Outcome


Jan Nyman

University of Gothenburg

Claes Mercke

University of Gothenburg

Acta Oncologica

0284-186X (ISSN) 1651-226X (eISSN)

Vol. 37 6 539-45

Subject Categories

Cancer and Oncology



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