Chemotherapy, radiation combo may double lung cancer patients’ life expectancy

November 14th, 2007 - 10:22 am ICT by admin  

The study, led by Walter Curran Jr., M.D., professor and chair of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Centre in Philadelphia, found that the combination may help patients live longer by 50 percent.

In the study, six trials were conducted for comparing the effectiveness of giving chemotherapy at the same time as radiation therapy versus giving radiation first, followed later by chemotherapy, to treat locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

For the study, results of more than 1,200 patients from six trials were examined.

The analysis found that the five-year survival rate was 10.6 percent with sequential therapy, while 15.1 percent with concurrent treatment.

“That means a relative increase of nearly 50 percent,” Curran said.

“We’ve demonstrated that the magnitude of benefit is observable in many studies, regardless of the regimen. I think it will be as persuasive as any data that this will change not only the tumour control rate but the chance for a long-term cure,” he said.

Curran explained that the only difference in the two treatments was that radiation was begun at another time. The drugs and radiation techniques were the same.

“You’re changing the first day of radiation from day 40 to day one, for example, and as a result, are changing the number of five-year survivors by between 40 percent and 50 percent,” he said.

According to these findings, if there were 50,000 patients, approximately 5,000 who received sequential therapies would be alive in five years, and with concurrent, about 7,500.

“It is a new standard of care. It’s relatively broadly adopted in this country, but across the world, it hasn’t been. This will be a very persuasive argument,” he said. (ANI)

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