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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Radiation Oncology 1/2017

Hypo- or conventionally fractionated radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy in patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer

Radiation Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Jing Zhang, Min Fan, Di Liu, Kuai-Le Zhao, Kai-Liang Wu, Wei-Xin Zhao, Zheng-Fei Zhu, Xiao-Long Fu



Previous data from our institution showed that hypofractionated thoracic radiotherapy (HypoTRT) with concurrent etoposide/platinum chemotherapy yielded favorable survival in patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC). The present study retrospectively compared the survival outcomes, failure patterns and toxicities between groups of LS-SCLC patients treated with conventionally fractionated thoracic radiotherapy (ConvTRT) or HypoTRT combined with chemotherapy.


Medical records of LS-SCLC patients between January 2010 and December 2013 at Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center were retrospectively reviewed. All patients treated with chemotherapy and ConvTRT (2 Gy per fraction daily, DT ≥ 56 Gy) or HypoTRT (2.5 Gy per fraction daily, DT = 55 Gy) were eligible for analysis. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were generated for different populations using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. Comparisons of failure patterns and toxicity were analyzed using the χ 2 test.


A total of 170 patients treated with HypoTRT (n = 69) or ConvTRT (n = 101) were eligible for analysis. The median PFS and OS were 13.7 and 25.3 months, respectively, in the ConvTRT cohort, which was similar to the HypoTRT cohort (PFS 18.2 months, p = 0.991, and OS 27.2 months, p = 0.698), with a median follow-up of 30 months. Multivariate analysis revealed that PCI and TNM stage were prognostic factors for PFS and that PCI was prognostic for OS. The patterns of failure (stratified by local-regional recurrence, distant metastasis or both as first relapse) were similar between the dose cohorts (p = 0.693, p = 0.330, p = 0.572). Distant metastasis remained the main failure pattern. The brain was the most frequent remote failure site, followed by bone, liver and adrenal gland. PCI improved the 2-year survival rate from 46.1% to 70.0% and the 2-year PFS rate from 20.9% to 45.3%, respectively (p < 0.001). Grade ≥3 esophagitis and pneumonitis occurred in 9.9% and 11.9%, respectively, of the patients in the ConvTRT cohort and in 11.6% and 10.0%, respectively, of those in the HypoTRT cohort (p = 0.815).


This retrospective analysis demonstrated that HypoTRT or ConvTRT combined with etoposide/platinum chemotherapy yielded statistically similar survival, treatment failure outcomes, and toxicity profiles. PCI correlated with improved PFS and OS.
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