In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out how well radiotherapy treatment works for people with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. The study found that overall survival was improved in patients who had radiotherapy treatment compared to those who did not.
There are a number of options for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Surgery is very common, as is chemotherapy. It is not known if radiotherapy to control the main tumor is beneficial to those with late stage non-small cell lung cancer.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 37007 patients. All of these patients had been diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. Of these, 16129 patients had radiotherapy treatment. The remaining 20878 patients did not have radiotherapy treatment.
Overall, the patients who had radiotherapy survived for longer than those who did not. This was especially noticed in patients who had the cancer spread to the brain. The patients who received radiotherapy and had cancer spread to the brain survived for longer than those who did not have radiotherapy but also had cancer spread to the brain. It was also noted that patients with squamous cell carcinoma (a type of lung cancer) which had spread who had radiotherapy saw a significant benefit.
The bottom line
The study concluded that radiotherapy is beneficial to overall survival in patients with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer.
The fine print
This is a huge study which looked at a very large population. The way this study was performed used statistical techniques to make sure the two groups were analysed in the same way. This means that the results are reliable.
Discuss your treatment plan with your oncologist.
Published By :
Sep 21, 2018