Central nervous system (CNS) metastasis is a significant problem for many patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The earlier data reported a high incidence of CNS metastasis in patients with locally advanced NSCLC who were treated with radiotherapy alone. However, poor control of both thoracic and extracranial systemic disease dominated the results of the early trials. The risk for CNS metastasis as the first site of failure remains a significant concern for patients who have completed modern combined modality therapy. With improvements in the treatment of thoracic and systemic disease, there is renewed interest in prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI). The results from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) trial of PCI to prevent CNS relapse in patients with locally advanced NSCLC are anticipated.
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