Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Radiation therapy (RT) plays an important role in the management of both small cell (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as 50 to 60% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer will require RT during the course of their disease. In NSCLC, in addition to the use of RT in advanced stage disease, inoperable patients with early-stage disease are now being treated with highly conformal hypofractionated RT as well as radiosurgery. In SCLC, the use of thoracic chemo-RT followed by prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) in limited-stage disease, and the use of PCI in extensive-stage disease have improved outcomes, and patient survival has steadily increased in the past decades. This article will review the role of RT in both SCLC and NSCLC, with emphasis at the most recent advances in the field as well as the topics of controversy.
Keywords: Radiation therapy, non-small cell lung cancer, small-cell lung cancer, malignancy, radiosurgery, Inoperable Patients, Stereotactic Radiation Therapy, Chemoradiation, Palliative Radiotherapy, Thoracic Radiation Therapy
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
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