A Phase III Study of Chemotherapy with Either Proton Therapy or Conventional Photon Radiation Therapy to Treat Inoperable Stage II-IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


Full Title

Phase III Randomized Trial Comparing Overall Survival After Photon Versus Proton Chemoradiotherapy for Inoperable Stage II-IIIB NSCLC (RTOG 1308)


Radiation therapy plus chemotherapy is the standard treatment for inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Conventional radiation therapy is called photon therapy and uses x-ray beams. In this study, researchers are comparing chemotherapy plus photon therapy with chemotherapy plus proton therapy in patients with stage II-IIIB inoperable NSCLC.

Proton therapy differs from photon therapy because the proton particles can stop shortly after passing through a tumor, and may therefore cause less damage to nearby healthy tissues than photon radiation therapy. Proton therapy may therefore enable doctors to give higher doses of therapy to the tumor. However, it is not known how proton therapy compares with photon therapy for inoperable NSCLC.

In this study, all patients will receive intravenous chemotherapy (given by vein). Patients will also be randomly assigned to receive either photon therapy or proton therapy. Patients who receive proton therapy will need to travel to a facility in Somerset, New Jersey for this treatment, and receive their chemotherapy and visit their oncologists at a Memorial Sloan Kettering facility in Manhattan or in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.


To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Patients must have inoperable stage II-IIIB NSCLC that has not yet been treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
  • This study is for patients age 18 and older.

For more information about this study and to inquire about eligibility, please contact Dr. Abraham Wu at 212-639-5257.