The Risk of Pneumonitis From Radiation in Patients With Lung Cancer

October 9, 2013
Laurie Gaspar, MD

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.

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.

Clinical Pearls

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

  • Patients need to be more aware of the real risk of pneumonitis from radiation