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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 262-266

Palliative thoracic radiotherapy in advanced lung cancer: A single institution experience

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. J P Agarwal
Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.219587

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BACKGROUND: Majority of patients of lung cancer present with locally advanced or metastatic disease, where systemic therapy is the treatment of choice. Many of these patients have local symptoms due to thoracic disease, wherein radiotherapy is proven to be an effective modality for alleviation of symptoms. However, the optimal dose of radiotherapy for adequate palliation remains debatable. The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess the efficacy of two different schedules of thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) with respect to symptom palliation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 100 consecutively treated patients with stages III-IV lung cancer treated with two different fractionation regimens of palliative TRT, either protracted course 20 Gy/5# over 1 week or short course of 17 Gy/2# over 8 days were assessed for symptom relief and survival. Impact of patient, tumor and treatment-related factors on response and overall survival (OS) was done by univariate analysis using log-rank test. RESULTS: Median age of the entire cohort was 60 years, majority being males, smokers with low Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (performance score ≥2). Predominant symptoms were chest pain (68) followed by cough (21) and dyspnea (15). Palliative TRT was offered as either protracted course 20 Gy/5# over 1 week or short course of 17 Gy/2# over 8 days in 21 and 79 patients respectively. Median duration of symptom relief was 2 months, no differences in OS at 1 year with either regimen. CONCLUSIONS: TRT is an effective means of palliation having similar symptom relief and outcomes with weekly (17 Gy/2# over 8 days) or protracted radiotherapy regimens (20 Gy/5#over 1 week). Short TRT schedules are convenient and economical for patients as well as resource sparing for high volume centers.


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