Radiotherapy guidelines for small-cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for approximately 20% of all lung cancers. The main treatment is chemotherapy (Ch). However, the addition of radiotherapy significantly improves overall survival (OS) in patients with non-metastatic SCLC and in those with metastatic SCLC who respond to Ch. Prophylactic cranial irradiation reduces the risk of brain metastases and improves OS in both metastatic and non metastatic patients. The 5 year OS rate in patients with limited stage disease (non-metastatic) is slightly higher than 30%, but less than 5% in patients with extensive stage disease (metastatic). The present clinical guidelines were developed by Spanish radiation oncologists on behalf of the Oncologic Group for the Study of Lung Cancer/Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology to provide a current review of the diagnosis, planning, and treatment of SCLC. These guidelines emphasise treatment fields, radiation techniques, fractionation, concomitant treatment, and the optimal timing of Ch and radiotherapy. Finally , we discuss the main indications for reirradiation in local recurrence.