Objective: To investigate the optimal timing of radiotherapy with alternating/sequential radio-chemotherapyfor limited-stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC).
Methods: 91 patients with LS-SCLC were retrospectivelyanalyzed and divided into two groups according to the number of chemotherapy cycles before radiotherapy.If the patient received radiotherapy after 3 cycles or fewer cycles of chemotherapy, classification was into theearly group, if not, into the late group. All patients received 6 cycles of standard chemotherapy (EP/EC) andconventional radiotherapy (56 gy~ 60 gy/28 f ~30 f).
Results: The response rate (RR) of the early and late groupswere 85.7% and 81.6%, respectively, with no significant difference (p>0.05). In contrast, the progression-freesurvival (PFS) in the early group was better than that in the late group (11.8 months vs 9.86 months), and thedifference was significant (p<0.05). There was no significant difference between two groups in adverse reactions,which gastrointestinal irritation and bone marrow suppression being the most common (p>0.05).
Conclusions:Radiotherapy after 3 cycles or fewer cycles of chemotherapy does not bring significant benefits for RR of patientswith LS-SCLC, but it could significantly prolong their PFS without increase in adverse reactions.