for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started



RATIONALE: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as paclitaxel, carboplatin work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Monoclonal antibodies, such as cetuximab can block tumor growth in different ways. Some block the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Others find tumor cells and help kill them or carry tumor-killing substances to them. It is not yet known whether high-dose radiation therapy is more effective than standard-dose radiation therapy when given together with combination chemotherapy with or without cetuximab in treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying high-dose or standard-dose radiation therapy given together with chemotherapy with or without cetuximab to see how well they work in treating patients with newly diagnosed stage III non-small cell lung cancer that cannot be removed by surgery.

Official Title

A Randomized Phase III Comparison of Standard-Dose (60 Gy) Versus High-Dose (74 Gy) Conformal Radiotherapy With Concurrent and Consolidation Carboplatin/Paclitaxel +/- Cetuximab (IND #103444) in Patients With Stage IIIA/IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer




  • To compare the overall survival of patients with newly diagnosed, unresectable stage IIIA or IIIB non-small cell lung cancer treated with high- versus standard-dose conformal radiotherapy with concurrent and consolidation chemotherapy comprising carboplatin and paclitaxel.
  • To compare the overall survival of patients treated with versus without cetuximab in the setting of concurrent chemotherapy


  • To compare progression-free survival and local-regional tumor control in patients treated with these regimens.
  • To compare the toxicity of high- versus standard-dose conformal radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy with versus without cetuximab in these patients.
  • To investigate the prognostic and predictive effects of gross tumor volume on overall survival of patients treated with these regimens.
  • To compare the quality of life of patients treated with these regimens.
  • To correlate outcomes (i.e., survival, toxicity, or QOL) in these patients with biological parameters.
  • To analyze the predictive value of pre-treatment standardized uptake value (SUV) of positron emission tomography (PET) scan in predicting survival, distant metastasis, and local-regional control in patients treated with these regimens.
  • To explore biological markers to predict clinical outcome including survival, distant metastasis, local-regional control, and QOL (including toxicity) in patients treated with these regimens.
  • To prospectively collect and bank tissue, blood, and urine specimens for future biomarker analyses in predicting clinical outcome in patients treated with these regimens.
  • To investigate associations between epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and toxicity, response, overall survival, and progression-free survival.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to PET staging (yes vs no), radiotherapy technique (3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy vs intensity-modulated radiotherapy), Zubrod performance status (0 vs 1), and histology (squamous vs non-squamous). Patients are randomized to 1 of 4 treatment arms. (Arms II and IV closed to accrual effective 6/17/11)

Patients may undergo tumor tissue, blood, and urine collection periodically during study for tissue banking or biomarker correlative studies.

Patients may undergo quality-of-life assessment at baseline and periodically during study.

After completion of study therapy, patients are followed periodically for 5 years and then annually thereafter.


Lung Cancer Radiation Toxicity stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer Lung Neoplasms Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung Paclitaxel Carboplatin Cetuximab


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. Pathologically proven (either histologic or cytologic) diagnosis of Stage IIIA or IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); excluding patients with N3 disease based on supraclavicular or contralateral hilar adenopathy, [according to American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging, 6th edition; see appendix III] within 12 weeks of registration; patients who present with N2 or N3 disease and an undetectable NSCLC primary tumor also are eligible.
  2. Patients must be considered unresectable or inoperable; Note: Patients who have had a nodal recurrence after surgery for an early-stage NSCLC are eligible if the following criteria are met:
  3. Nodal recurrence must be N1 or N2; N3 is not eligible.
  4. The initial primary must have been staged as T1-2, N0, M0.
  5. The node must be biopsied within 12 weeks of registration.
  6. The node must be measurable.
  7. The patient must not have received prior chemotherapy or radiation for this lung cancer.
  8. Prior curative surgery must have been at least 6 months prior to the nodal recurrence.
  9. The exception to a prior invasive malignancy does not apply to the initial lung primary.
  10. Stage III A or B disease, including no distant metastases, based upon the following minimum diagnostic workup are acceptable:
  11. History/physical examination, including documentation of height, weight, body surface area (BSA), and vital signs within 8 weeks prior to registration;
  12. Computed tomographic (CT)/Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) imaging of the lung and upper abdomen through the adrenal glands within 6 weeks prior to registration;
  13. An MRI of the brain with contrast (or CT with contrast if MRI is medically contraindicated) within 6 weeks prior to registration; Note: The use of intravenous contrast is required for the MRI or CT. An MRI without contrast is only permitted if the patient has a contrast allergy.
  14. Whole-body fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) - Positron Emission Tomography(PET) or PET/CT or if no PET is available, a bone scan is required within 6 weeks prior to registration; Note: If a PET is done that shows clear adrenals and lungs, then a CT scan of chest only is permitted.
  15. If a pleural effusion is present, the following criteria must be met to exclude malignant involvement (incurable T4 disease):
  16. When pleural fluid is visible on both the CT scan and on a chest x-ray, a pleuracentesis is required to confirm that the pleural fluid is cytologically negative.
  17. Exudative pleural effusions are excluded, regardless of cytology;
  18. Effusions that are minimal (i.e. not visible on chest x-ray) that are too small to safely tap are eligible.
  19. Patients must have measurable or evaluable disease.
  20. Patients with post-obstructive pneumonia are eligible.
  21. Patients must be at least 3 weeks from prior thoracotomy (if performed).
  22. Zubrod Performance Status 0-1;
  23. Age ≥ 18;
  24. . Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) within 12 weeks prior to registration; for FEV1, the best value obtained pre-or post bronchodilator must be ≥ 1.2 liters/second or ≥ 50% predicted.
  25. . Complete blood count (CBC)/differential obtained within 2 weeks prior to registration on study, with adequate bone marrow function defined as follows:
  26. Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1,800 cells/mm3;
  27. Platelets ≥ 100,000 cells/mm3;
  28. Hemoglobin ≥ 10.0 g/dl (Note: The use of transfusion or other intervention to achieve Hgb ≥ 10.0 g/dl is acceptable.)
  29. . Serum creatinine within normal institutional limits or creatinine clearance ≥60 ml/min;
  30. . Bilirubin must be within or below normal institutional limits;
  31. . Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) < 2.5 x the institutional upper limit of normal (IULN);
  32. . Patient must sign study specific informed consent prior to study entry.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. N3 supraclavicular disease;
  2. Greater than minimal, exudative, or cytologically positive pleural effusions;
  3. Involved contralateral hilar nodes (i.e. greater than 1.5 cm on short axis or positive on PET scan);
  4. ≥ 10% weight loss within the past month;
  5. Prior invasive malignancy (except non-melanomatous skin cancer) unless disease free for a minimum of 3 years; non-invasive conditions such as carcinoma in situ of the breast, oral cavity, or cervix are all permissible.
  6. Prior systemic chemotherapy for the study cancer; note that prior chemotherapy for a different cancer is allowable.
  7. Prior radiotherapy to the region of the study cancer that would result in overlap of radiation therapy fields;
  8. Prior therapy that specifically and directly targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway;
  9. Prior severe infusion reaction to a monoclonal antibody;
  10. . Severe, active co-morbidity, defined as follows:
  11. Significant history of uncontrolled cardiac disease; i.e., uncontrolled hypertension, unstable angina, myocardial infarction within the last 6 months, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy with decreased ejection fraction.
  12. Transmural myocardial infarction within the last 6 months;
  13. Acute bacterial or fungal infection requiring intravenous antibiotics at the time of registration;
  14. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease exacerbation or other respiratory illness requiring hospitalization or precluding study therapy within 30 days before registration;
  15. Hepatic insufficiency resulting in clinical jaundice and/or coagulation defects;
  16. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) based upon current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition; note, however, that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is not required for entry into this protocol. The need to exclude patients with AIDS from this protocol is necessary because the treatments involved in this protocol may be significantly immunosuppressive. Protocol-specific requirements may also exclude immuno-compromised patients.
  17. . Pregnancy or women of childbearing potential and men who are sexually active and not willing/able to use medically acceptable forms of contraception; this exclusion is necessary because the treatment involved in this study may be significantly teratogenic.
  18. . Any history of allergic reaction to paclitaxel or other taxanes, or to carboplatin;
  19. . Uncontrolled neuropathy grade 2 or greater regardless of cause.


  • Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center
    La Jolla California 92093-0658 United States
  • University of California Davis Cancer Center
    Sacramento California 95817 United States
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
    San Francisco California 94115 United States
  • Saint Agnes Cancer Center at Saint Agnes Medical Center
    Fresno California 93720 United States
  • St. Joseph Hospital Regional Cancer Center - Orange
    Orange California 92868 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
Data Available: Select individual patient-level data from this trial can be requested from the NCTN/NCORP Data Archive.
Phase 3
Study Type
Last Updated