Stereotactic Body Radiation Beneficial in Lung Cancer
High rate of primary tumor control observed in patients with inoperable, early-stage tumors
TUESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with early-stage but inoperable lung cancer, treatment with stereotactic body radiation therapy may significantly improve rates of tumor control, according to a study in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Robert Timmerman, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues conducted a phase 2 study of 55 patients -- 44 with T1 tumors and 11 with T2 tumors -- who received three prescription doses of 18 Gy per fraction times three fractions over a period of one and a half to two weeks and followed them for a median of 34.4 months.
The researchers found that the estimated three-year primary tumor control rate was 97.6 percent and that the three-year primary tumor and involved lobe (local) control rate was 90.6 percent. The local-regional control rate was 87.2 percent. At three years, they found that the rates of disease-free survival and overall survival were 48.3 percent and 55.8 percent, respectively.
"Primary tumor control is an essential requirement for the cure of lung cancer," the authors write. "Treatments applied for curative intent must be judged at least partly on their ability to control gross disease. Stereotactic body radiation therapy as delivered in RTOG0236 provided more than double the rate of primary tumor control than previous reports describing conventional radiotherapy."
Timmerman reported financial relationships with Varian Medical Systems and Elekta Oncology, which make equipment used in stereotactic body radiation.