In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out how well a treatment for lung cancer called stereotactic body radiation therapy works in patients with lung cancer that cannot be surgically removed. The study found that this treatment is effective in patients with lung cancer, and a higher dose of radiation is not any better than a lower dose.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a treatment for lung cancer. It works very well in cancer that cannot be operated on. It involves very high doses of radiation being targeted at very small sections of the body. It normally takes a few sessions. Currently, there is no standard dose of radiation that is recommended.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 84 patients. All of the patients had early stage non-small cell lung cancer that was not able to be surgically removed. 39 of these patients received a lower dose of SBRT. The remaining 45 patients had a higher dose of SBRT. The patients were followed for 6 years on average.
Overall, the patients who received a lower dose survived for 4.1 years on average. The patients who received a higher dose survived for 4.6 years on average. After five years, 29.6% of patients who received the lower dose were still alive. After five years, 41.1% of patients who received the higher dose were still alive. Side effects were more common in the group who received the higher dose. 2.6% of patients who received the lower dose reported serious side effects. 11.1% of patients who received the higher dose reported serious side effects.
The bottom line
The study concluded that SBRT is effective in treating lung cancer that cannot be operated on, and that there is no survival difference between using a higher or lower dose of radiation.
The fine print
This was a small study. A larger study will be able to tell us more information on the survival benefit.
Talk to your oncologist about your treatment plan.
Published By :
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Dec 01, 2018