GUMC LogoLung cancer patients ought to pay attention to this news. A new study claims that patients with initial stage, non-small cell lung cancer who are unable to go through surgery may now have an exceedingly effectual treatment alternative.

Physicians are of the opinion that radical stereotactic radiosurgery conducted with CyberKnife could result in 100 percent by and large survival following three years in patients with good lung function prior to treatment. For patients suffering from small tumors described as early-stage disease, surgical exclusion of the affected lobe is apparently the normal procedure. Nevertheless, surgery could be occasionally not a choice because of other pre-existing medical conditions like emphysema or heart disease.

Brian T. Collins, MD, a radiation oncologist with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital, commented, “Our goal has been to find a reasonable option for patients who don’t want or can’t tolerate surgery. What we discovered is a very promising option that may be relevant for other stage one patients as well. More follow up with these patients is planned to see how they progress five years after treatment.”

Around 24 patients were treated as part of the study. Every patient’s forced expiratory volume in 1 second or FEV1 was apparently gauged.

Eric D. Anderson, MD, a pulmonologist at Georgetown University Hospital, commented, “We use the FEV1 to grade the severity of a patient’s COPD. It measures the ability of a patient to exhale forcefully.”

COPD refers to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is usually referred as emphysema.

After following up for 36 months, generally the survival for all patients was apparently 79% with 5 deaths, taking place due to progressive lung dysfunction. For patients with an enhanced FEV1, the survival rate was apparently 100 percent.

Collins mentioned the treatment was supposedly well endured with slight exhaustion only accounted by most of the patients.

Collins explained, “What we also learned from this study is that patients with poorer lung functioning don’t do nearly as well.”

In general, survival in this group of patients was supposedly only 30 percent.

Collins remarked, “This information is important for the doctor and patient when making treatment decisions. In treating someone with poor lung function, it would seem prudent to modify the treatment dose in order to reduce further damage to the lungs that stereotactic radiosurgery causes.”

Lung cancer is said to be the primary cause of cancer deaths with more than 215,020 people detected every year and about 1, 61,804 people dying due the disease. This was mentioned as per the American Cancer Society. While there is no screening exam for lung cancer that may let doctors diagnose the disease in its initial, most curable stage, some tumors are apparently discovered premature due to medical tests being conducted for other conditions.

Collins concluded by mentioning that this study shows that CyberKnife is a viable and promising option for patients to consider when their lung tumor has not spread to the lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body and surgery is too high-risk.

This study was presented at the annual CHEST meeting in San Diego.