Thoracic and elective brain irradiation with concomitant or delayed multiagent chemotherapy in the treatment of localized small cell carcinoma of the lung: A randomized prospective study by the southeastern cancer study group

Academic Article


  • A prospective randomized study was carried out to compare the effectiveness of concomitant or delayed multiagent chemotherapy combined with irradiation to the primary tumor and regional lymph nodes and to the brain in a group of 70 patients with histologically proven small cell undifferentiated carcinoma of the lung. Complete and partial response in both groups was comparable, and the overall survival was comparable. However, relapse‐free survival was significantly higher in patients receiving concomitant chemotherapy and irradiation in comparison with the radiotherapy alone group. Disease‐free survival was higher in the concomitant chemotherapy‐radiotherapy patients, although survival was not significantly modified, probably because of suboptimal chemotherapy. The initial intrathoracic failure rate was 40.7% in the concomitant chemotherapy‐irradiation group, compared with 53.8% in the radiotherapy‐alone patients. None of the patients receiving delayed chemotherapy following the radiotherapy recurrence showed signficant tumor response to the drugs. The incidence of distant metastasis was slightly lower in the chemotherapy groups. Brain metastases were noted in 7% of the patients in both groups. Increased intrathoracic recurrences were noted in patients with lower doses of irradiation. Nine of 13 patients treated with inadequate portals developed intrathoracic recurrences in comparison to 13 of 40 treated with adequate irradiation fields. The study emphasizes the need for intensive chemotherapy and adequate radiation therapy to improve survival of patients with small cell undifferentiated carcinoma of the lung. Additional trials are necessary to assess the role of each modality in the management of these patients. Copyright © 1981 American Cancer Society
  • Published In

  • Cancer  Journal
  • Author List

  • Perez CA; Krauss S; Bartolucci AA; Durant JR; Lowenbraun S; Salter MM; Storaasli J; Kellermeyer R; Comas F
  • Start Page

  • 2407
  • End Page

  • 2413
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 10