A Phase II/III Study to See if Avoiding the Hippocampus during Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy Prevents Memory and Thinking Problems in People with Small Cell Lung Cancer

Full Title

Randomized Phase II/III Trial Of Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation With Or Without Hippocampal Avoidance For Small Cell Lung Cancer (NRG-CC003)(CIRB)


Small cell lung cancer has a high risk of spreading to the brain, and patients often receive radiation therapy to the whole brain to reduce the risk of such metastases. Radiation therapy, however, can cause side effects such as problems with memory and thinking. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that controls these functions.

In this study, researchers want to know if sparing the hippocampus from radiation during whole-brain radiation therapy can reduce the risk of memory and thinking problems in people with small cell lung cancer. They will also determine if this treatment approach is as effective as the conventional approach for preventing lung cancer spread to the brain.

Patients in this study will be randomly assigned to receive conventional whole-brain radiation therapy or whole-brain radiation therapy that avoids the hippocampus. All patients will complete periodic memory and thinking assessments every few months for up to two years after the start of treatment.


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

  • Patients must have small cell lung cancer that has not spread to the brain.
  • Patients may not receive chemotherapy and whole-brain radiation therapy concurrently.
  • This study is open to 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.





Disease Status

Newly Diagnosed