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  1. Kathryn Prior
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kathryn Prior, Heart and Lung Unit, Torbay Hospital, Lawes Bridge, Torquay, Devon TQ2 7AA, UK; kathrynbrain{at}doctors.net.uk

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Radiotherapy for extensive stage small cell cancer

A Dutch group looked the effectiveness of thoracic radiotherapy for patients with extensive small cell lung cancer. (SCLC) (Lancet 2015;385:36–42). Patients with performance stages 0–2 and extensive stage SCLC, who had response after four to six cycles of standard platinum based chemotherapy, with no clinical evidence of intracranial or pleural metastases and no previous radiotherapy were included. Patients were randomised 1:1 to either thoracic and prophylactic cranial irradiation or just prophylactic cranial radiation. There was no statistical difference in survival at 1 year; 33% for the thoracic radiotherapy group versus 28% for the control group. However, the 2-year overall survival was 13% vs 3%. Progression was less likely in the thoracic radiotherapy group than in the control group at 6 months, progression-free survival being 24% vs 7%. There were no severe toxic effects recorded.

Can a novel asthmatic treatment be used acutely?

Asthma control can be difficult to achieve. This study looked at the addition of benralizumab (an anti-interleukin 5α monoclonal antibody) to conventional treatment in those discharged from the emergency department (ED) (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2014.09.036). Subjects …

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