Study Confirms Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy Effectiveness for Early-Stage Lung Cancer

According to research from a phase III randomized international study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, patients with operable stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) could achieve better overall survival rates if treated with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), rather than the current standard of care of invasive surgery.  The findings, published in The Lancet Oncology, are from the first randomized clinical trials comparing SABR and surgery. 

The results of this study are timely and significant because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States.  The American Cancer Society reports that over half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed, and, according to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 158,040 Americans are expected to die from the disease in 2015. 

For decades, the standard treatment for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer has been surgery, but the procedure can be difficult for patients with poor lung function, such as those with emphysema and pulmonary hypertension.  SABR for lung cancer may offer a treatment option to patients who are not candidates for surgery, because of tumor size or location or heart disease. 

At Rush Radiosurgery, we treat lung cancer patients with stereotactic body radiation therapy using the TrueBeam™ STx system. TrueBeam STx is a noninvasive outpatient treatment with minimal to no side effects.  During treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung.  

For more information about lung cancer, please click here.  To watch a patient education video about lung cancer treatment, please click here