Does Radiotherapy Do More Harm than Good in Metastatic Lung Cancer?

Does Radiotherapy Do More Harm than Good in Metastatic Lung Cancer?

Radiotherapy is often used palliatively in patients with metastatic lung cancer in the interest of achieving a better quality of life. But whether survival after palliative radiation justifies using the modality is debatable. Clinicians from Louisiana shed some light on the issue with a study that looked at prognostic factors in lung cancer with brain metastases. Would these patients be better off with hospice or supportive care? 

RESULT: Short survival after palliative radiotherapy for brain metastases in lung cancer: Does the end justify the means?
American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine | Jun 9, 2013 (Free abstract. Full text $32)

Chemoradiotherapy has become a go-to in cancer treatment, but this pairing is not always successful. One group of researchers tested the regimen of stereotactic radiosurgery, whole-brain radiation, temozolomide (Temodar), and erlotinib (Tarceva) in non-small cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases. They describe their trial results and explain why they were less than pleased with survival outcomes.

RESULT: A phase 3 trial of whole brain radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery alone versus WBRT and SRS with temozolomide or erlotinib for non-small cell lung cancer and 1 to 3 brain metastases: Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0320
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics (PubMed) | Apr 1, 2013 (Free abstract. Full text $30)


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