Why this study is important:
Prophylactic cranial irradiation significantly reduces the risk of symptomatic brain metastases and significantly prolongs survival according to Prof Slotman. As this treatment is well tolerated and does not adversely influence quality of life, prophylactic cranial irradiation should now routinely be offered to all SCLC patients with extensive disease whose cancer responds to chemotherapy.
For Roy S Herbst, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, University of Texas/Section Chief of Thoracic Medical oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer center in Houston, Texas, the results of this study represented the most important clinical finding for the treatment of patients with lung cancer presented at ASCO 2007 in June this year. I expect prophylactic cranial irradiation will be taken up quickly in the US, as well he commented in an interview during ASCO 2007.
Furthermore, this trial was impressive because it showed that a standard modality, such as radiation therapy, still has the potential to improve survival. In this era of targeted therapies, we cannot forget that standard modalities can still improve disease outcomes. he adds.
Moreover, the trial results give weight to the further research hypothesis that thoracic radiotherapy - using the nowadays advanced radiotherapy techniques - might be beneficial to this pretreated patient group as well - a hypothesis Prof Ben Slotman and colleagues are preparing to test in clinical randomized trial to run in The Netherlands, the UK and possibly more European countries.
The challenge in the future remains how to integrate the current modalities with the newer targeted modalities. This EORTC trial shows once again that in clinical cancer research, pursuing a multidisciplinary research agenda can be crucial for improvi
|Contact: Ben J Slotman|
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer