The treatment of choice for advanced inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is radiation therapy. Palliative radiotherapy schedules vary considerably in different centers, but a 30-Gy dose given in ten fractions over two weeks is a typical standard schedule. Our study was aimed at investigating whether a shorter course of only one 10-Gy fraction allows good palliation in the treatment of inoperable NSCLC patients whose main symptoms are related to an intrathoracic lesion. Patients of both sexes and any age, untreated with radiotherapy, with inoperable and histologically or cytologically proved NSCLC were examined. Seventeen patients, too advanced for radical "curative" radiotherapy and whose main symptoms were related to primary intrathoracic lesions, entered the study even though they had metastases. On admission, 76% (13/17) of patients had cough 76% (13/17) dyspnea, 70.7% (12/17) chest pain and 23.6% (4/17) hemoptysis. They received a single dose of 10 Gy, delivered with an 18-Mv linear accelerator via anteroposteriorly opposing portals without spinal cord shielding. Treatment volume usually included the macroscopically detected lesion identified with a CT simulator. Palliation of symptoms was achieved in high rates of patients: 46% for cough, 69% for dyspnea, 83% for pain and 75% for hemoptysis. These results were obtained within one month of treatment. Unfortunately, palliation of symptoms did not last long, decreasing to 42% within two months of the end of treatment and to 32% at three months. Four patients were retreated, one patient three months and three patients two months after the end of radiotherapy. Ten Gy to the target volume were administered as retreatment with spinal cord shielding. Side-effects were mild: nausea in 3 patients (17%), vomiting in one patient (5%) and grade-II dysphagia in two patients were observed and classified according to WHO criteria. Pain increased 24 hours after radiotherapy in five patients. We can conclude that single dose radiotherapy yields good, but short, palliation of symptoms with acceptable side-effects.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging