Oncology Centre, Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge, UK.
This report reviews current radiotherapy practice across the UK in the management of lung cancer, and the way new treatments and technologies are being introduced, where improvements have occurred, and where work is still required. We wanted to determine adherence to both National Radiotherapy Advisory Group and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance. This survey was conducted on behalf of the Department of Health Lung Cancer & MesotheliomaAdvisory Group.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We sent a questionnaire to all UK radiotherapy departments. It covered radical radiotherapy dose fractionation, the use of concurrent or sequential chemotherapy for both non-small cell and small cell lung cancers, the use of continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy, new radiotherapy techniques, the use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography for planning purposes and patient accrual into current National Cancer Research Network UK trials.
This UK-wide survey of radiotherapy practice for lung cancer showed broad compliance with NICE clinical guidance, but highlighted significant variation in fractionation schedules and the use of concomitant chemoradiotherapy. Clinical trial entry into lung cancer radiotherapy trials was variable and many centres are not fully participating in recruitment into these trials.
This report has shown the variability of radiotherapy provision nationally. Current practice is largely consistent with current and updated NICE recommendations and best practice and should be recognised as such. It has also highlighted areas where improvements are still needed, particularly fractionation and new technologies. One particular aspect of concern is the poor recruitment to current UK-based clinical trials in lung cancer.