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.

Lung Cancer FAQ: What is EGFR, and what are the molecular tests related to it?


EGFR stands for epidermal growth factor receptor, which is a molecule on the surface of many cancer cells that can be activated to activate signals that promote cell growth and cell division. Though this target may play a role for many kinds of cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one type in which this target protein is seen in a majority of people's cancers.