Postoperative radiation therapy in the management of lung cancer

B. Emami, T. Kim, C. Roper, J. R. Simpson, M. V. Pilepich, M. A. Hederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Postoperative radiation therapy for lung cancer is still controversial. In a 9-year period, 69 patients with non-oat-cell carcinoma of the lung (16% stage I, 26% stage II, and 58% stage III) received such therapy. The radiation dose was less than 5,000 cGy in 42 patients, 5,000-5,900 cGy in 16, and 6,000 cGy or more in 11; follow-up ranged from 24 to 64 months. Actuarial survival at 2 and 4 years was 50% and 16%, respectively, for squamous cell carcinoma, and 40% and 26% for adenocarcinoma. The 5-year survival for stages I, II, and III cancer was 29%, 17%, and 19%, respectively. Histological findings and type of surgery did not affect survival, but the radiation dose apparently did. The 3-year survival for patients who received less than 6,000 cGy was 35%, compared with 73% for patients who received higher doses. In eight patients, treatment failed within the irradiated volume: all had received doses of less than 6,000 cGy, and the volume in three was judged to be inadequate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-253
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987


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