Role of irradiation in the management of superior vena cava syndrome

B A Armstrong, C A Perez, J R Simpson, M A Hederman
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 1987, 13 (4): 531-9
The records of 125 patients treated for superior vena cava syndrome secondary to malignant disease were reviewed retrospectively. The mean age of patients was 55 years. Bronchogenic carcinoma was the cause of the syndrome in 79% of cases, malignant lymphoma 18%, and other tumors 6%. Approximately 80% of the patients obtained good to excellent symptomatic relief. High initial dose radiation therapy (300-400 cGy daily for three fractions) yielded good symptomatic relief in less than 2 weeks in 70% of patients; conventional dose radiation therapy (200 cGy daily, five weekly fractions) yielded the same response in 56% of patients (p = 0.09). Lymphoma patients displayed a 1 year survival of 41%, small cell carcinoma 24%, and other types of bronchogenic carcinoma 17%. Combination of radiation and chemotherapy did not improve response rate, degree of symptomatic relief or long-term survival. Patients exhibiting symptomatic relief within 30 days had a significantly better survival rate than those who did not (p = 0.002). Thirteen percent of patients showed a recurrence of superior vena cava syndrome. There was no correlation between tumor regression and symptomatic relief. Side effects of therapy were minimal; dysphagia was the most common complaint (26% of patients).

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.