Prognostic factors and outcome of reirradiation for locally recurrent small cell lung cancer—a multicenter study

Lukas Käsmann*, Stefan Janssen, Andrew M. Baschnagel, Tim J. Kruser, Hideyuki Harada, Meryem Aktan, Dirk Rades

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: The prognosis of patients with recurrent small cell lung cancer (SCLC) remains poor and treatment options are limited. We performed a multi-institution retrospective cohort study to evaluate the outcome of thoracic reirradiation, identify prognostic factors and assess treatment-related toxicity. Methods: Data of 33 patients re-irradiated for recurrent SCLC at 4 international university hospitals, were analysed. Overall survival (OS) acute and late toxicities were evaluated and prognostic factors for reirradiation were identified. Results: Reirradiation (Re-RT) was performed at a median interval time of 24 months after the first thoracic radiotherapy series. Median survival after reirradiation was 7 months (range, 1–54 months). The Re-RT dose in EQD2 ranged from 20 to 87.50 Gy with a median of 32.50 Gy. The 1- and 2-year OS were 33% and 17%, respectively. Patients with a good performance status (KPS >70%), absence of extrathoracic disease, reirradiation dose (EQD2) of >40 Gy and a cumulative dose of first plus second series of radiotherapy (EQD2) >90 Gy were associated with improved OS. Acute pulmonary Grade 1–2 toxicity from re-irradiation was recorded in 11 patients (33%) and grade 3 acute toxicity was encountered 1 patient (3%). Conclusions: Reirradiation for locoregionally recurrent SCLC is safe and shows promising outcomes. Patients reirradiated with doses >40 Gy experienced more favourable survival rates. In contrast, patients with a poor performance status or extrathoracic disease have a poor prognosis and Re-RT should be considered only for symptom control in this group.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTranslational Lung Cancer Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2020


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