News | May 27, 2009

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Helps Manage Lung Cancer

May 28, 2009 - Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) when used to treat certain patients with non-small-cell lung cancer provided a 3-year local tumor control rate of 90 percent or higher with minor toxicity, reported Scandinavian researchers report in a May 4th online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lead investigator, Pia Baumann, a medical doctor at Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a phase II trial that included 40 patients with stage 1 tumors and 17 with stage 2 tumors who underwent SBRT every second day for a median of 5 days of treatment.

At 1 year, overall survival was 88 percent and cancer-specific survival was 93%. At 3 years, progression-free survival was 52%, overall survival was 60% and cancer-specific survival was 88%. There was no significant survival difference between patients with T1 and T2 tumors.

At a median follow-up of 35 months, 7 patients had died from lung cancer and 20 from concurrent disease. Estimated local control at 3 years was 92%. The estimated risk of failure due to local, regional or distant metastases was significantly greater in patients with T2 tumors than in those with T1 tumors (41% versus 18%).

The researchers suggest that based on these findings, SBRT "may even challenge surgery in operable instances."

SBRT is efficient in eradicating tumors with only limited side effects in patients with medically inoperable stage I non-small cell lung cancer, indicated Dr. Baumann. "SBRT is also useful for treating metastatic tumors in diverse organs."

Source: J Clin Oncol 2009;27.

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