Jump to content

Article on Preventive Brain radiation for Sclc survival.....


Recommended Posts

By Megan Rauscher

Mon Jun 4, 6:20 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters Health) - Preventive radiation to the brain significantly reduces the risk of lung cancer spreading to this organ and improves survival, according to data presented in a session Monday at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologist.

All of the patients studied had advanced small-cell lung cancer, a type that carries a poor prognosis and is generally not amenable to surgical removal.

"Brain metastases are a common problem in small-cell lung cancer," study coordinator Dr. Ben Slotman, professor and chairman of radiation oncology at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, noted at a press briefing.

Previous studies have shown that brain radiation to prevent the cancer from invading this organ can extend survival in patients with limited small-cell lung cancer. The current study suggests that "all patients with small-cell lung cancer who respond to chemotherapy could benefit from" brain radiation, Slotman said.

In the study, 286 patients with advanced small-cell lung cancer and any response to chemotherapy were randomly assigned to preventative brain radiation or no radiation.

Preventative radiation was well tolerated; side effects were generally mild and consisted largely of headache, nausea/vomiting and fatigue, Slotman reported. Moreover, this treatment "did not adversely affect quality of life," he said.

Results showed that brain radiation significantly reduced the risk cancer spreading to the brain. After 1 year, there was brain involvement in 14.6 percent in the radiation group versus 40.4 percent in the comparison group.

Moreover, brain irradiation improved survival. At 1-year, the survival rate was 27.1 percent in the group that received preventative radiation compared to only 13.3 percent in the group that did not.

"Because improvements in treatment results for patients with advanced small-cell lung cancer have been minimal in the past two decades, these findings represent a significant advance," Slotman noted in a written statement.

Based on these findings, preventative radiation of the cranium should be "routinely be offered to all responding patients with (advanced) small-cell lung cancer," he told conference members.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Interesting article...thanks. My Dad was enrolled as part of a study done by Memorial Hospital back in 1983. He had a complete response to chemo and was offered PCI way back then, despite the extensive disease.My Dad then had 20 healthy years during which time he was told he was "officially" cured.I wonder how big a role the PCI played in his survival?

Thanks again,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah baby! My dad had the PCI...he had little side affects, though he is having some memory loss now. Lynn, I like your story...that is one that I will hold on to now! 20 Years! Yeah! Tell us more about this ... I see that he had it come back, 20 years later? Do explain!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jen,

Yes, my Dad had 20 good years...healthy. We were told that when he was diagnosed with the same cell type in 2003 that it was considered a new primary. I wish I had more to share...he was even given some chemo agents that I don't see being used much for small cell. I have a copy of his records and I spoke with his oncologist after he passed away...I don't know why he responded so well in 1983...the only difference I see is that instead of two chemo agents he was given a variety of agents. It was a published study which some day I would like to get a copy of the article.

Keep the faith,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I noticed the article said it was used for "advanced" small cell. (I'm guessing they meant "extensive"?) Harry has limited, (last time he was scanned anyway), and they've already told him they would prefer he get the brain radiation anyway, in July, so I guess they don't just use it for advanced/extensive cases...?

I loved reading the "20 year" survivor story! Wow! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.