ONCAlert | 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting
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The Risk of Pneumonitis From Radiation in Patients With Lung Cancer

Laurie Gaspar, MD
Published Online:3:59 PM, Wed October 9, 2013
Laurie Gaspar, MD, Professor and Chair Department of Radiation Oncology, Grohne Chair in Clinical Oncology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, discusses the risk of pneumonitis from radiation among patients with lung cancer.

Some large cooperative group studies claim that the risk of symptomatic radiation pneumonitis is small -- less than 10%. On an actuarial basis, Gaspar says, about 30-40% of patients experience pneumonitis at 1 year. Gaspar says this larger figure needs to be discussed with patients and physicians need to work on lowering the percentage. Most oncologists also agree that some side effects from radiation are being underestimated, Gaspar says

Clinical Pearls

  • Patients need to be more aware of the real risk of pneumonitis from radiation
  • On an actuarial basis, about 30-40% of patients alive at 1 year experience pneumonitis
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