Hyperfractionated and accelerated radiotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer
Radical radiotherapy plays a major role in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) due to the fact that many patients are medically or surgically inoperable. Advances in technology and radiotherapy delivery allow targeted treatment of the disease, whilst minimizing the dose to organs at risk. This in turn creates an opportunity for dose escalation and the prospect of tailoring radiotherapy treatment to each patient. This is especially important in patients deemed unsuitable for chemotherapy or surgery, where there is a need to increase the therapeutic gain from radical radiotherapy alone. Recent research into fractionation schedules, with hyperfractionated and accelerated radiotherapy regimes has been promising. How to combine these new fractionated schedules with dose escalation and chemotherapy remains open to debate and there is local, national and international variation in management with a lack of overall consensus. An overview of the current literature on hyperfractionated and accelerated radiotherapy in NSCLC is provided.