Stereotactic radiation may help in early lung cancer

Compared with historical reports, the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy in inoperable early lung cancer appears to result in longer 3-year and 5-year survival, Japanese researchers reported here. About 60% of 104 patients diagnosed with Stage IA non-small cell lung cancer achieved a 3-year overall survival and 40.8% were alive at 5 years, said Yasushi Nagata, MD, professor and chairman of radiation oncology at the University of Hiroshima, at a press briefing during the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
According to Nagata, even though the patients in the study had very early stage cancer they were inoperable mainly because of their age and other comorbid conditions, as they were smokers, and their pulmonary function was compromised, so stereotactic radiotherapy was the better choice for them. He said that stereotactic body radiation therapy is less invasive, is believed to be effective against early stage lung cancer and was found to be feasible in patients with operable cancer.