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Stereotactic radiotherapy provides excellent local control for lung malignancies

Posted on Mar 21, 2012

Radiation oncologist Bin Teh, M.D., led the four-year study of 84 patients with primary, secondary or recurrent lung cancer. The use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) over the course of five treatments in a two-week period resulted in 100 percent local control of all recurrent and metastatic lesions; and 92.6 percent local control of primary lung malignancies.

"These patients were not candidates for open surgery. By offering them SBRT, we were able to provide good, long-term local control and improve quality of life with minimal side effects from the treatment," said Teh, the paper's senior author and a pioneer of SBRT at Methodist. "Advances in radiotherapy, including SBRT, allow us to provide a more precise delivery that is non-invasive, and we can focus on the cancer site while preserving critical surrounding normal tissue."

SBRT is a technique that precisely targets radiation to a tumor while minimizing radiation to surrounding normal tissue such as the heart, esophagus, lung, spinal cord, bronchial trees and blood vessels. This targeting allows treatment of small- or moderate-sized tumors in either a single or limited number of fractions. Teh has treated more than 500 patients with SBRT, also known as stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), for multiple tumor sites including lung, liver, spine, bone, lymph nodes, adrenal and kidney over the past eight years. Advances in image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) also allow for more accurate treatment plans prior to radiotherapy.

Additional research to compare SBRT and open surgery is ongoing. Teh says current literature suggests SBRT is as good as open surgery, but patients tolerate SBRT better and there are no risks from anesthesia, bleeding, infection and recovery time.


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