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Wake Forest Baptist finds success with novel lung cancer treatment
Date:5/8/2014

y-six patients were identified who received at least two courses of thoracic radiotherapy. Of that number, 33 were treated with repeat thoracic radiotherapy using stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) or accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy (AHRT), as a component of their treatment. The median age was 66 and the majority of patients (88 percent) were treated for primary lung cancer. Average tumor size at retreatment was 2.5 cm. Prior lung resections had been completed in 24 percent of patients.

Urbanic said the typical patient is an older man or woman who got treated with either chemotherapy and radiation or radiation alone for a lung cancer that couldn't be surgically removed. They've returned for a checkup and feel well, but a CT scan shows that the cancer has returned in the area previously treated. If the cancer is just in one spot, the patients get retreated with 10 radiation treatments done with the SBRT technique which is tightly targeted to just the tumor and minimizes the dose to the surrounding normal tissue.

"Wake Forest Baptist has been developing expertise in doing this," Urbanic said. "We're finding that there are patients who are alive years later. We have seen relatively modest toxicity and a good ability to try and control the disease upwards of 70 percent of the time."

But there is a higher risk of injury involved when someone is radiated a second time which is why other cancer treatment center programs might be reluctant to adopt the practice, he said.

"This is a fairly niche effort in lung cancer care, and we'd like to see a national level clinical trial at some point," he said. "The technology has gotten to the point where I think it's going to allow radiation oncologists to reassess their ability so that maybe they can take risks they weren't willing to take before. Eventually, this practice will become more widespread."


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Contact: Bonnie Davis
bdavis@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4977
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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