Radiation Time, Dose, and Fractionation in the Treatment of Lung Cancer

  • Daniel Gomez
  • Melenda D. Jeter
  • Ritsuko Komaki
  • James D. Cox
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Radiation therapy has been an important component of potentially curative treatment of lung cancer for more than 40 years. The radiosensitivity of normal tissues in the thorax, especially the normal lung and esophagus, has led to efforts to enhance the antitumor effects of radiation while reducing its acute and late adverse effects on normal tissues. Improving local control of medically inoperable or locally advanced unresectable disease (stage III non-small cell lung cancer or limited-stage small cell lung cancer, defined as disease confined to one hemithorax and the ipsilateral supraclavicular lymph nodes) can favorably influence overall survival rates. The therapeutic ratio of radiation for the treatment of lung cancer can be improved by increasing the biological dose to maintain local control while protecting normal tissues. One way of doing so is through the use of fractionation, that is, manipulating the time interval and dose of radiation to optimize the therapeutic ratio. Topics covered in this chapter include dose escalation with standard fractionation or hyperfractionation; large-dose fractionation and stereotactic body radiation therapy; accelerated fractionation; means of reducing the target volume by using techniques such as 3-dimensional conformal or intensity-modulated radiation therapy; proton therapy; the importance of accounting for tumor motion; and the use of combined thoracic radiation and concurrent chemotherapy.


Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Concurrent Chemotherapy Proton Therapy Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Supported in part by National Cancer Institute grants CA 16672 and 06294 and the Texas Tobacco Settlement.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Gomez
    • 1
  • Melenda D. Jeter
    • 1
  • Ritsuko Komaki
    • 1
  • James D. Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Radiation Oncology, Unit 97The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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