Lung cancer may not get treated with post-operative radiation therapy; Research

Lung cancerResearchers have found that post-operative radiation therapy (PORT) is not always helpful to prolong lives of lung cancer patients.

This research has been done by Juan Wisnivesky, MD, DrPH, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and his colleagues and published online in the journal of Cancer that is a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Locally advanced lung cancer, which has spread to certain lymph nodes, often returns after surgery that is why physicians use radiation for reducing the risk of recurrence of the cancer.

Researchers have worked between the years 1992-2005 on 1307 older lung cancer patients with locally advanced lung cancer. In all 710 patients, i.e. 54% of patients, got radiation therapy after surgery. They found that radiation treatment often didn’t work for the patients of lung cancer as those patients were less likely to live longer than patients who didn’t receive treatment.

Based on these findings, the researchers have proposed that the physicians should not routinely use radiation after surgery for the treatment of lung cancer.


Juan P. Wisnivesky, Ethan A. Halm, Marcelo Bonomi, Cardinale Smith, Grace Mhango, and Emilia Bagiella, (2012). Postoperative radiotherapy for elderly patients with stage III lung cancer. Cancer, DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26585

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