RTOG 0617: Stunningly Worse Survival for High Dose Radiation in Locally Advanced NSCLC, but Carbo-Taxol Has Never Looked Better


The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) has been working on a large randomized trial in patients with stage III, locally advanced, unresectable NSCLC that asked two key questions:

1) is the best dose of radiation the "old" standard of 60 Gray (Gy), over about 6 weeks, or a higher dose of 74 Gy that has been found to be feasible?

2) Is there a value in adding weekly Erbitux (cetuximab), the antibody to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), along with weekly carboplatin/Taxol (paclitaxel) and concurrent chest radiation therapy (RT)?

More Info on the Correlation of Rash with Outcome on EGFR Inhibitors: My Changing View in Light of the TOPICAL Trial


There's been a theme with the inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) -- both oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and IV monoclonal antibodies -- that the patients who demonstrate good results with these agents tend to get a rash, while the patients who don't get a rash do poorly.

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