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RTOG Finds Brain Irradiation Decreases Incidence of Brain Metastases in Locally Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

RTOG Finds Brain Irradiation Decreases Incidence of Brain Metastases in Locally Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

Philadelphia, PA – May 27, 2009 – Patients with locally advanced lung cancer who received a course of radiation therapy to their brain at the completion of their lung cancer treatment were less likely to develop brain metastases within the first year after treatment according to new research from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) that will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL on June 1, 2009. RTOG, an NCI-funded national clinical trials group, is a clinical research component of the American College of Radiology (ACR).

As the treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer has improved, researchers are finding that patients have an increased risk of developing brain metastases without a relapse of their lung cancer. In order to develop a consensus on how to address this risk, RTOG mounted a phase III study to compare prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) versus observation in this patient population. Although the study, RTOG 0214, closed without meeting its accrual objective, an analysis of the 356 patients entered on the study found that patients who did not receive PCI were two and a half times more likely to develop brain metastases than those who did receive PCI.

“Although this study did not show a statistically significant difference in survival between the two groups of patients, we were able to show that PCI significantly decreased the incidence of brain metastases during the first year post-treatment,” said Elizabeth Gore, M.D., the lead author and principal investigator of the RTOG study from the Medical College of Wisconsin. “We plan a future analysis of the impact of PCI on neuropsychological function and quality of life and we expect that analysis will influence the recommendations regarding the standard use of PCI.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview with an RTOG spokesperson, please contact Sharon Hartson Stine at 609.458.5604, shartson@phila.acr.org or visit RTOG at booth 219 in the Exhibit Hall.

ASCO Abstract #7506, A Phase III Comparison of Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation Versus Observation in Patients with Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Initial Analysis of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0214, is available at http://www.abstract.asco.org/AbstView_65_32163.html.

Information about RTOG is available at www.rtog.org

In addition to Dr. Gore, authors include: K. Bae, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Philadelphia, PA; S. Wong, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; J. Bonner, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; A. Sun, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; S. Schild, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ; L. E. Gaspar, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; J. Bogart, SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, Syracuse, NY; M. Werner-Wasik, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; and H. Choy, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. This study was open, through the NCI Clinical Trials Support Unit (CTSU) to members of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), and the Cancer & Leukemia Group B (CALGB). The research was funded by National Cancer Institute grants CA21661 and CA37422.

The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) is administered by the American College of Radiology (ACR), and located in the ACR Center for Clinical Research in Philadelphia, PA. RTOG is a multi-institutional international clinical cooperative group funded primarily by National Cancer Institute grants CA21661 and CA37422. RTOG has 40 years of experience in conducting clinical trials and is comprised of over 300 major research institutions in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The group currently is currently accruing to 40 studies that involve radiation therapy alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapeutic drugs or which investigate quality of life issues and their effects on the cancer patient.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a national professional organization serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of radiology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Shawn Farley
Director of Public Affairs
American College of Radiology
703.648.8936 Office
703.869.0292 Cell

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