In a study by Dr. Jean-Yves Douillard of the Centre Rene Gauducheau in St. Herblain, France, and colleagues in Italy and Spain, researchers found that adding a course of radiation to chemotherapy doubled the lives of some lung cancer patients.
The survey tested 840 patients with stage three lung cancer, which had spread to lymph nodes outside the lung, but not throughout the body. Of these, 232 agreed to extra radiation treatment.
The treatment doubled survival for some, but not all of the patients, Douillard announced at ASTRO. Among patients whose non-small cell lung cancer had spread to mediastinal lymph nodes, radiation therapy helped them live almost two years longer than those patients who had only chemotherapy after surgery.
But in patients where the disease had not spread as far, researchers found that adding the radiation therapy appeared to shorten their remaining life span.
“The results show that radiation treatment should be considered for resected (surgically treated) non-small cell lung cancer with involved mediastinal lymph nodes in addition to chemotherapy,” said Douillard.


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