Definitive chemoradiation for non-small-cell lung cancer: could a consensus be reached?

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Aims and background:

There is currently no consensus as to which chemotherapy to combine with thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) in the setting of definitive chemoradiation for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and report outcome measures of cisplatin/etoposide with conventionally fractionated TRT over a 9-year period.


Cisplatin 50 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, 29, and 36 and etoposide 50 mg/m2 on days 1–5 and 29–33 with conventionally fractionated conformal radiation therapy starting on day 1 was given to 201 eligible patients. Patient records were reviewed for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).


The 2-year OS and PFS were 53% and 47%, respectively, while the 3-year OS and PFS were 18% and 17%, respectively. No grade 4 or treatment-related deaths were recorded, and grade 3 hematologic toxicity occurred in only 22 patients (11%) in the form of granulocytopenia and thrombocytopenia. Multivariable analysis showed clinical stage and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status to statistically significantly affect PFS and OS.


Cisplatin and etoposide in these doses with conventionally fractionated TRT is a well-tolerated, effective treatment schedule in the definitive treatment of unresectable or inoperable NSCLC.

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