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By Babita Jyoti

M.D. on 04/25/2017

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) a Highly Effective Lung Cancer Treatment

A recent New York Times article highlighted the use of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, or SBRT, for the treatment of prostate cancer. Although the use of SBRT for prostate cancer treatment has risen significantly in recent years, the article called into question the wisdom of using the high dose radiation delivery system near the delicate structures surrounding the prostate gland, touting a lack of solid evidence proving its effectiveness.

Understandably, the article generated questions and concerns from a number of our patients and I feel it is important to address the issue.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy is a highly focused radiation therapy that delivers an intense dose of radiation concentrated precisely at the tumor site while sparing surrounding organs and tissues. SBRT requires fewer sessions (approximately 1 to 5) than traditional radiation therapy, which is typically administered in small daily doses over several weeks.

Though some studies have shown evidence that SBRT is beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer, the evidence of the benefits of the therapy in lung cancer treatment is much more robust. SBRT has been shown to be very effective in treating early stage lung cancer in patients for whom surgery is not an option due to health conditions or personal preference.

Research presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology showed that survival rates of elderly patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received SBRT, climbed from 40 to 60 percent over the past decade. SBRT is now considered the standard of care for those with inoperable, early-stage NSCLC.

The type of radiation therapy recommended by the oncologists at Ackerman Cancer Center is determined by many factors, including:

  • Cancer type
  • Tumor size
  • Where in the body the cancer is located
  • Cancer’s proximity to delicate tissues or structures
  • Distance in the body the radiation needs to travel
  • Patient’s overall health and age
  • Whether other types of cancer treatments will be used

Every patient at Ackerman Cancer Center can be assured of access to the most advanced radiation oncology treatments available designed around their specific needs. We encourage patients to discuss all treatment options and to share any concerns or questions they may have about their prescribed treatment course. 

All my best, 

Babita Jyoti, M.D.

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