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Twice-daily radiotherapy halves length of treatment and brings equal benefits to people with small cell lung cancer

Last Update 06/04/2021

The effects of receiving radiotherapy once a day for 6.5 weeks or twice a day for 3 weeks among people with small cell lung cancer has been compared in a clinical trial.


The effects of receiving radiotherapy once a day for 6.5 weeks or twice a day for 3 weeks among people with small cell lung cancer has been compared in a clinical trial.

Researchers found that the two treatment methods were equally effective among people with small cell lung cancer that has not spread.

The study was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference yesterday (Sunday 5 June, 2016).

547 people from around the world took part in the study. Half of participants received radiotherapy twice a day for 3 weeks, while the other half received it once a day at a higher dose for 6.5 weeks. All participants also received chemotherapy.

People who went through the 3-week, twice-daily treatment option were found to have similar survival rates and side effects to those on the 6.5 week, once-daily course of treatment. However, the researchers noted that those on the shorter, more frequent course were more likely to experience weakening of the immune system (74% of participants, compared to 65% in the other group).

The researchers believe that this finding could open up opportunities for people with small cell lung cancer to decide on the best treatment route with their healthcare professionals.

Read the original news article

Read the abstract of the study

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