Treatment of limited-stage disease in older patients: the role of thoracic radiotherapy and prophylactic cranial irradiation

Corinne Faivre-Finn, R Colaco, A Britten, Fiona Blackhall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Elderly patients should neither be undertreated nor overtreated with RT
or CTRT. Treatment selection should not be made on the basis of chronological age and should take into account performance status, stage, comorbidities, nutritional status, and patients’ preference. The benefits of concurrent CTRT have to be balanced against the risks of radiation esophagitis and pneumonitis which are more likely to lead to hospitalization, malnutrition, and deterioration of QoL in the elderly compared to their younger counterparts. Future studies in SCLC including elderly patients are urgently needed with emphasis on toxicity, QoL, and efficacy. The use of geriatric assessments may help to de fi ne groups of patients more likely to benefitfrom aggressive treatments such as concurrent CTRT and may also enable more robust stratification of elderly patients in prospective studies. Furthermore, advances in RT planning and delivery, such as omitting elective nodal irradiation, 4-D conformal RT planning, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), are likely to widen the therapeutic window, and the resulting reduction in toxicity should make future RT more tolerable for elderly patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManagement of Lung Cancer in Older People
EditorsCesare Gridelli, Riccadrdo A Audisio
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)ISBN 978-0-85729-793-8
ISBN (Print)ISBN 978-0-85729-792-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Keywords Lung cancer in the elderly • Limited-stage lung cancer in the elderly • Elderly patients and lung cancer • Thoracic radiotherapy in the elderly • Prophylactic cranial irradiation • Cranial irradiation in the elderly

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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