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) achieved comparable overall survival rates with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), rather than the current standard of care, surgery.  The findings, published in The Lancet Oncology, are from the first randomized clinical trials comparing SABR and surgery. 

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 offers a treatment option to patients who are not candidates for surgery, because of tumor size or location, or heart disease. 

At Philadelphia CyberKnife, we treat lung cancer patients with stereotactic body radiation therapy using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless and nonsurgical outpatient treatment with minimal to no side effects.  During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung.  As the patient breathes during the treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her chest, meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.  

“As a doctor who has treated hundreds of patients with CyberKnife radiosurgery, the finding from the MD Anderson study exceeded my expectations,” said John Lamond, M.D., Medical Director at Philadelphia CyberKnife.  “SABR is not only the preferred treatment for inoperable stage I non-small cell lung cancer but also is a legitimate option for operable patients as well.” 

For more information about lung cancer, please click here.  To learn more about how Philadelphia CyberKnife treats lung cancer, or watch a CyberKnife patient education video about lung cancer treatment, please click here