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Retrospective Study Suggests that Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) Can be a Viable Option for Treating Early-Stage Lung Cancer in Operable as well as Inoperable Patients; Phase III Randomized Trial Now Under Way
Date:5/1/2012

s reporting more than one side effect. Most side effects were mild. Late side effects of SABR consisted of radiation pneumonitis in two percent of patients and rib fractures in three percent of patients.  

The study authors conclude that NSCLC patients with potentially operable disease who underwent SABR had an excellent outcome after SABR.  "This finding supports ongoing randomized studies comparing surgery and SABR in patients with operable stage I NSCLC," said Dr. Slotman.

In another presentation, Jeffrey Bradley, M.D., professor of radiation oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, provided an overview of a phase III randomized trial that is now accruing patients and will attempt to compare surgery with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) more systematically.  SBRT is a term used interchangeably with SABR; both refer to a method of treating a tumor with a carefully shaped and precisely targeted high-energy radiation beam to damage tumor cell DNA and kill the cancer cell. The trial is being jointly sponsored by the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) and by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), two organizations that manage nationwide cancer treatment studies.

"The earlier side-by-side comparisons, such as the study by Dr. Slotman and his colleagues, have suggested that SBRT provides similar overall and cause-specific survival rates compared to surgery," said Dr. Bradley.  "However, these studies use non-randomized data and often compared a relatively healthy population of patients who had surgery with a less healthy, population treated using SBRT.  The ACOSOG/RTOG trial seeks to balance the health of patients in both study arms to determine more definitively whether surgery and SBRT provide similar cure and toxicity rates.  This is a very important study because it will help to define the optimal management of patients with early-stage lung cancer," Dr. Bradley added.

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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
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