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Study of concurrent radiotherapy, chemotherapy shows promise in small cell lung cancer
Date:11/3/2009

CHICAGO - Treating limited stage small cell lung cancer(LSCL) with a combination of accelerated high-dose radiotherapy and chemotherapy has shown encouraging results, opening the door to larger scale investigation, according to new research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The Phase II study was presented today (Nov. 3) in an oral session at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), by Ritsuko Komaki, M.D., professor and program director of Lung Cancer Research and Thoracic Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology at M. D. Anderson.

"While still early, these may be the most important study findings for limited stage small cell lung cancer in the past decade," said Komaki, the study's lead author. "This research is important because it achieved a high level of control of the disease while minimizing damage to the esophagus."

Treatment can be problematic

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in this country. Almost 220,000 cases will be diagnosed in 2009, and more than 159,000 people will die of the disease.

Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive cancer that accounts for about 20 percent of lung cancers; approximately 20 percent of these cases are classified as LSCL, defined as cancer present in one lung and possible lymph node involvement, but has not metastasized.

"Over the past few years, we have made significant progress by giving concurrent chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy (radiation to the chest), as well as prophylactic cranial radiotherapy (radiation to the head to prevent cancer)," said Komaki, who also holds the Gloria Lupton Tennison Distinguished Professorship in Lung Cancer Research at M. D. Anderson. "However, five-year survival in limited stage small cell lung cancer is still only 26 percent, and the likelihood of recurrence and metas
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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