The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the premier radiation oncology society in the world for health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies, has released new guidelines for treating inoperable lung cancer patients with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
The report, “Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: an ASTRO Evidence-Based Guideline,” was published in Practical Radiation Oncology, ASTRO’s clinical practice journal, states that while SBRT is the current standard of care for peripherally located tumors in patients who cannot undergo surgery, the new guideline addresses the appropriateness of SBRT for medically inoperable patients with high-risk clinical scenarios requiring curative focused therapy.
Drawing on data from retrospective and prospective studies and the available randomized clinical trials, the guideline provides evidence-based recommendations regarding the appropriate use of SBRT for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The principal goal of the guideline was to address SBRT for patients unable to tolerate surgery who require customization of SBRT in high-risk clinical scenarios, such as for salvage therapy after previous surgery or radiation therapy, for tumors invading the chest wall, or for very large tumors. The guideline also details principles of SBRT directed toward centrally located lung tumors, since treating these tumors carries unique and significant risks when compared to treatment directed at peripherally located tumors.
Dr. Gregory Videtic, co-chair of the task force that wrote the report said, “With longer life expectancies and more sophisticated diagnostic tools, we have seen a rise in the incidence of early-stage lung cancer, including among patients who are not able to undergo surgery or choose not to do so. SBRT provides an option for these patients, who otherwise may not have received curative, definitive treatment. Increasing access to this potentially life-saving treatment is essential to improve outcomes for the growing population of early-stage NSCLC patients.”
At New Jersey CyberKnife, eligible patients diagnosed with lung cancer, or inoperable lung tumors, are treated with SBRT using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System. CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects. During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung. As the patient breathes during the CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body – meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.
To learn more about how New Jersey CyberKnife treats lung cancer with CyberKnife technology, please click here.