Radiotherapy holds lung tumors at three years

April 7, 2010

Highly focused stereotactic body radiation therapy can eliminate tumors better than conventional radiotherapy and may improve survival for inoperable non-small cell lung cancer, according to a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study.

Highly focused stereotactic body radiation therapy can eliminate tumors better than conventional radiotherapy and may improve survival for inoperable non-small cell lung cancer, according to a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study.

The most exciting aspect of the prospective study was the high rate of primary tumor control-97.6%-at three years, according to Dr. Robert Timmerman, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and principal investigator of the study.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy as delivered in the trial more than doubled the rate of primary tumor control provided by conventional radiotherapy, he said. This suggests the technique could provide a significant step forward in the battle against inoperable non-small cell lung cancer.

The phase II study included 59 patients with biopsy-proven peripheral non-small cell tumors measuring less than 5 cm in diameter with conditions disallowing surgical treatment.

This was the first North American multicenter cooperative group study to test stereotactic body radiation therapy in treating these types of patients. It was published in the March 17 Journal of the American Medical Association.