This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the AAPM Seed Funding Initiative.
3) SIX-YEAR STUDY FINDS FEW PERMANENT SIDE EFFECTS AFTER SBRT FOR LUNG CANCER
A six-year study of lung cancer patients treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) found few people experienced significant lasting side effects from the relatively new technique.
SBRT hits tumors with extremely high (but narrowly focused) radiation doses, typically given in three to five treatments. The researchers evaluated lung density changes in 63 people who received SBRT between 2003 and 2009. After six months, patients had transient density increases of up to 100 percent compared to their pre-treatment lung density. After 12 months, the density changes stabilized to less than 50 percent of pre-treatment levels, and lung morphology was mostly unaffected.
"We saw some changes, but nothing of a catastrophic nature or anything that implies we're going in the wrong direction with this treatment," says co-author Brian Kavanagh, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. "The first impression is very much a reassuring one."
Understanding how normal lung tissue is affected by the intense radiation will help physicians avoid excess injury to healthy tissue and more aggressively treat tumors, says Kavanagh.
The researchers also discovered that some patients had subtle changes in normal tissue that appeared to signal later development of side effects such as inflammation.
"These early signals will give us an opportunity to anticipate potential problems and personalize treat
|Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi|
American Institute of Physics