ARLINGTON, Va., April 4, 2018 – The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) today issued an update to its clinical guideline for the use of palliative-intent radiation therapy for patients with incurable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Reflecting new evidence from randomized clinical trials, the guideline now recommends the addition of concurrent chemotherapy to radiation therapy for certain patients with incurable stage III NSCLC, including those who are able to tolerate chemotherapy and have a life expectancy longer than three months.
Nearly 90 percent of lung cancer diagnoses are NSCLC cases, and more than half of NSCLC patients are diagnosed with locally advanced (stage III) or metastatic (stage IV) disease. Most patients who are diagnosed with incurableNSCLC receive palliative-intent therapy, where the primary goal is to improve quality of life by relieving pain and other symptoms. Palliative radiation therapy can alleviate symptoms of lung cancer including chest pain, cough, labored or obstructed breathing and coughing up blood. It also improves overall quality of life for many patients.
“The primary question we faced with this revision was whether providers can enhance the impact of moderate, palliative doses of radiation by introducing additional therapy,” said Benjamin Moeller, MD, PhD, chair of
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