Conclusion

Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy has greatly enhanced our understanding of partial organ tolerances of lung and esophagus to radiotherapy. Concurrent chemotherapy appears to shift the TCP and NTCP dose—response curves to the left for both lung and esophagus. Much additional work remains to be performed before biological modifiers, either radiosensitizers or radioprotectors, become a more integral part of therapy. Summaries of clinical data indicate that both patient-related and treatment-related factors contribute to normal tissue toxicity in these organs.

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