Thursday, September 11, 2008
Journal of Clinical Oncology has a meta-analysis of palliative radiation for lung cancer. It looks at controlled trials comparing different dosing schedules of radiation with palliative-intent for patients with incurable lung cancer. Briefly, it confirmed that lower-dose radiation is just as effective for symptom palliation than higher-dose radiation (hemoptysis, pain, cough, etc.). This analysis suggests that 1 year survival is modestly improved for patients with higher-dose regimens (by ~5% overall). What I found most interesting was just the simple, natural history information the review provided regarding symptoms (e.g. ~50% of patients had complete resolution of their chest pain after radiation, 30% had complete resolution of cough, etc.).