The role of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) and thoracic radiation therapy (TRT) in extensive-stage small cell lung cancer remains controversial. The authors examined the National Cancer Database and identified patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer with no brain metastasis. Patients were excluded if they died 30 days from diagnosis, did not receive polychemotherapy, had other palliative radiation or had missing information. A propensity score-matched analysis was also performed. A total of 21,019 patients were identified. The majority of patients did not receive radiation (69%), whereas 10% received PCI and 21% received TRT. The addition of PCI and TRT improved median survival and survival at 1 and 2 years (p ≤ 0.05). The propensity score-matched analysis confirmed the same overall survival benefit with both PCI and TRT. This registry-based analysis of >1500 accredited cancer programs shows that PCI and TRT are not commonly utilized for extensive-stage small cell lung cancer patients who are treated with multiagent chemotherapy. The addition of PCI and TRT significantly improves overall survival in this otherwise poor prognostic group. Further research is needed to confirm the role of PCI and TRT, especially in the era of improved systemic therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research