Studies on the Effects of the Prophylactic Radiation

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 8, 2013

Question:

I have limited-stage small cell lung cancer. I had four cycles of chemotherapy with carboplatin and etoposide, which was extremely effective. I will complete 30 treatments of radiation therapy next week to my lung area. My oncologist wants me to have 10 prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) treatments to my head. My mother also has lung cancer (mixed small and large cell) and had radiation to get rid of two small cerebellum brain tumors. I feel that the radiation therapy that she had significantly affected her mental functioning. My oncologist sent me links to literature on toxicity and statistical studies on the effects of the prophylactic cranial irradiation, and I was not convinced. The studies are small, old, and not conclusive about toxicity. Do you recommend PCI? By the way, my mother's side of the family has a history of early onset Alzheimer's disease.

Are there any new studies with larger samples?

Answer:

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