The Reirradiation of Recurrent Bronchogenic Carcinoma with External Beam Irradiation

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Symptomatic local failure following thoracic irradiation for bronchogenic carcinoma presents a clinical challenge to the Radiation Oncologist. We retrospectively evaluated the efficiency of reirradiation with external beam radiation of 30 patients. The median dose of initial irradiation was 6,000 cGy in 6 weeks. The median time following initial irradiation to recurrence was 12 months. The median dose of retreatment was 3,030 cGy in 3 weeks. Of the symptomatic patients, 88% and 70% subjectively responded to initial irradiation and to reirradiation, respectively. Retreatment toxicity included radiation esophagitis (6 patients), dry desquamation (4 patients), and symptomatic radiation pneumonitis (1 patient). Based on this study, doses of external beam radiation in the range of 2,000–3,000 cGy in 2 to 3 weeks appear safe and effective in reirradiating recurrent bronchogenic carcinoma.

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