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Combined Therapies Show Promise in Small Cell Lung Cancer

Conquest - Spring 2010

Treating limited stage small cell lung cancer with a combination of accelerated high-dose radiation therapy and chemotherapy has shown encouraging results, opening the door to larger scale investigation.

Ritsuko Komaki, M.D.

“While still early, these may be the most important study findings for limited stage small cell lung cancer in the past decade,” says Ritsuko Komaki, M.D., professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, program director of Lung Cancer Research and Thoracic Radiation Oncology and 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.”

Researchers at MD Anderson and their colleagues developed this new study to find a way to increase the level of radiation during concurrent chemotherapy without increasing damage to normal tissue.

This study has been adapted by a new randomized intergroup trial — including the Radiation Treatment Oncology Group and the Southwest Oncology Group, among others — that will enroll 700 patients in multiple sites across the country. This research will compare three radiation dose levels, fractionation and treatment duration times while they are getting the same concurrent chemotherapy.

Reported in November 2009 in an oral session at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center