12 Scopus citations


Introduction: Life expectancy of patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC) continues to rise; thus, characterization of long-term toxicities is essential. Although there are emerging data linking cardiac irradiation doses with survival for non-small cell lung cancer, there are currently minimal data on cardiac-specific mortality (CSM) in LS-SCLC. The goal of this investigation was to evaluate CSM between left- and right-sided cases. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was queried for stage I–III primary SCLC patients receiving radiotherapy; CSM was compared between left- and right-sided diseases. Accounting for mortality from other causes, Gray's test compared cumulative incidences of CSM between both groups. Multiple multivariate models examined the independent effect of laterality on CSM, including the Fine and Gray competing risk model and the Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Of 19,692 patients, 7991 (41%) were left-sided and 11,701 (59%) were right-sided. Left-sided patients experienced significantly higher CSM overall (3.3% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.004). Laterality was an independent predictor of CSM in the overall population in the Fine and Gray competing risk model (p = 0.006) as well as the Cox proportional hazards model (p = 0.007). The overall hazard ratio for CSM by disease laterality was 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.08–1.50). Laterality had no statistical association with non-cardiac mortality in the Fine and Gray competing risk model (p = 0.130). Conclusions: Although causation between radiotherapy and CSM in LS-SCLC cannot be stated based on these data, we encourage clinical attentiveness to cardiac-sparing radiotherapy for LS-SCLC, along with further investigation evaluating dosimetric correlates for cardiotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-497
Number of pages6
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Cardiac mortality
  • Heart
  • Radiation therapy
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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