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Malignant thrombosis of the superior vena cava caused by non-small-cell lung cancer treated with radiation and erlotinib: a case with complete and prolonged response over 3 years

Authors Wang J, Liang J, Wang W, Ouyang H, Wang L

Received 23 March 2013

Accepted for publication 7 May 2013

Published 1 July 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 749—753

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S45660

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Jianyang Wang,1 Jun Liang,1 Wenqing Wang,1 Han Ouyang,2 Luhua Wang1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital and Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Cancer Hospital and Institute, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Most cases of superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome resulting from neoplasm, especially from lung cancer, remain a serious challenge to treat. Here, for the first time as far as we are aware, we report the case of a non-small-cell lung cancer patient with a massive SVC malignant thrombosis who was treated with thoracic irradiation and erlotinib. The treatment regimen consisted of erlotinib 150 mg/day and a total dose of 66 Gy/33 fractions delivered to the tumor, malignant thrombosis, and metastasis mediastinal lymph nodes. The malignant thrombosis responded dramatically and the combined regimen was well tolerated. After discharge, the erlotinib was prescribed as maintenance therapy. The patient was followed closely for the next 3 years. During this time, positron emission tomography/computed tomography scans and serum tumor marker screens were undertaken. By 6 months, the primary tumor showed complete response and by 9 months, the SVC thrombosis had disappeared. No sign of relapse has been found to date.

Keywords: superior vena cava syndrome, radiotherapy, thoracic irradiation, neoplasm

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