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WCLC 2023 | The effect of smoking on outcomes of radiotherapy in lung cancer

Jacek Jassem, MD, PhD, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland, outlines the impact of smoking on the clinical outcomes of radiotherapy for lung cancer. Few patients quit smoking before receiving radiotherapy, as a large proportion of patients believe there is nothing to be gained in quitting smoking after receiving a diagnosis for lung cancer. In a literary analysis of the effects of continued smoking on the outcomes of radiotherapy for patients with lung cancer, a significant association between tobacco smoking and increased risk of secondary malignancies, shorter survival, lower treatment tolerance, and an increased risk of local or distant failure or both were reported. Despite the small sample sizes, inconsistent definitions of quitting and a lack of biochemical confirmation, the relationships between smoking and clinical outcomes appear to be strong. Dr Jassem suggests that patients with lung cancer who continue to smoke should be recommended individualised pharmacologic and behavioural therapies in order to increase their chance of survival. This interview took place at the 2023 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Singapore, Singapore.

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