Aims and background: To define the role of radiotherapy in the treatment of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) on the basis of clinical data reported in the medical literature. Methods: Published reports are critically reviewed, with particular attention to randomized trials. Results: Thoracic radiotherapy has an important role in improving local control and 3-year survival in limited-stage SCLC; radiation should be delivered early in the course of the chemotherapy program, avoiding large volumes and total doses exceeding 40-50 Gy. Thoracic radiotherapy probably has no role in resected patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and may even be detrimental in patients with extensive SCLC. Prophylactic cranial irradiation has been shown to reduce the risk of brain relapse, but it is not associated with a consistent increase in survival or cure rate: its use in clinical practice is therefore not advised. Conclusions: Survival rates approaching 50% at 2 years are now possible in limited SCLC with the integrated effort of the surgeon, the medical oncologist and the radiation oncologist; their strict cooperation appears to be of the utmost importance in the earliest phase of treatment planning.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1996|
- small-cell lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research