Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Cancer Clin Trials


Background: The advent of screening chest computed tomography (CT) for high-risk patients has increased the patient population presenting with early-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). While surgical resection continues to be standard of care, stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is an option for non-surgical candidates. Although the effectiveness of PCI in patients with limited stage SCLC has been well established, decreasing the brain metastasis incidence from approximately 70% to 30%, the role of PCI in early-stage SCLC (T1-T2) has not been fully elucidated. This study reports our experience omitting PCI in early-stage SCLC.

Objectives: This study reports our experience omitting PCI in early stage SCLC.

Methods: Fourteen patients with early-stage SCLC, nine patients with clinical stage I (T1) and five patients with stage IA (T2) SCLC, ranging in age from 54-81 years old, treated with surgical resection or SBRT from July 2015 to May 2021 at our institution, were retrospectively reviewed. Positron emission tomography (PET) was used in the staging of 93% of patients. All patients had initial negative brain MRI and opted not to receive PCI. 71% of the patients had brain scan surveillance for follow-up. Risk factors including age, gender, and tumor size, were analyzed for overall survival (OS), loco-regional recurrence (LRR), and distant metastasis (DM) using the Log-rank test.

Results: With a median follow-up of 13 months (range 2-63), none of our patients developed metastases to the brain. Adjuvant chemotherapy, with a mean of 4 cycles (2-6) was administered to 13 out of 14 patients (92%). The 2-year OS, LRR and DM estimates were 47% [95% CI (0.14, 0.75)], 57% [95% CI (0.19, 0.82)], and 51% [95% CI (0.17, 0.77)], respectively. The OS and the frequency of LRR were not found to be correlated with age, gender, or tumor size. DM was significantly higher in males vs females (P=0.016).

Conclusions: Our experience in patients with Stage I-IIA SCLC treated with surgery or SBRT did not demonstrate any development of brain metastases. As PCI carries long term risks of neurotoxicity, close surveillance with regular brain imaging may be a reasonable alternative. Adjuvant systemic therapy remains an important component of treatment.





First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.