Penetration of recommended procedures for lung cancer staging and management in the United States over 10 years: A quality research in radiation oncology survey

Ritsuko Komaki, Najma Khalid, Corey J. Langer, Feng Ming Kong, Jean B. Owen, Cheryl L. Crozier, J. Frank Wilson, Xiong Wei, Benjamin Movsas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Purpose: To document the penetration of clinical trial results, practice guidelines, and appropriateness criteria into national practice, we compared the use of components of staging and treatment for lung cancer among patients treated in 2006-2007 with those used in patients treated in 1998-1999. Methods and Materials: Patient, staging work-up, and treatment characteristics were extracted from the process survey database of the Quality Research in Radiation Oncology (QRRO), consisting of records of 340 patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) at 44 institutions and of 144 patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC) at 39 institutions. Data were compared for patients treated in 2006-2007 versus those for patients treated in 1998-1999. Results: Use of all recommended procedures for staging and treatment was more common in 2006-2007. Specifically, disease was staged with brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography) and whole-body imaging (positron emission tomography or bone scanning) in 66% of patients with LA-NSCLC in 2006-2007 (vs 42% in 1998-1999, P=.0001) and in 84% of patients with LS-SCLC in 2006-2007 (vs 58.3% in 1998-1999, P=.0011). Concurrent chemoradiation was used for 77% of LA-NSCLC patients (vs 45% in 1998-1999, P<.0001) and for 90% of LS-SCLC patients (vs 62.5% in 1998-1999, P<.0001). Use of the recommended radiation dose (59-74 Gy for NSCLC and 60-70 Gy as once-daily therapy for SCLC) did not change appreciably, being 88% for NSCLC in both periods and 51% (2006-2007) versus 43% (1998-1999) for SCLC. Twice-daily radiation for SCLC was used for 21% of patients in 2006-2007 versus 8% in 1998-1999. Finally, 49% of patients with LS-SCLC received prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) in 2006-2007 (vs 21% in 1998-1999). Conclusions: Although adherence to all quality indicators improved over time, brain imaging and recommended radiation doses for stage III NSCLC were used in <90% of cases. Use of full thoracic doses and PCI for LS-SCLC also requires improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1089
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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