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Indiana University School of Medicine Opens Two Lung Cancer

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Clinical Trials

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medical ... wsid=28701

06 Aug 2005

Indiana University School of Medicine's success in the innovative treatment of lung cancer is expanding options for patients through two clinical trials.

Both studies are for individuals with non-small cell lung cancer.

One trial is a continuation of a treatment pioneered at IU using precision mapping and high-dose radiation. This portion of the clinical trial, building on the clinical success of the study at IU, is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and will involve the IU School of Medicine and five other U.S. medical centers.

In the other study, patients with operable lung cancer will receive high-dose stereotactic radiation therapy followed by a new chemotherapy regimen. No surgery is involved. The addition of chemotherapy has been shown in recent medical literature to be effective at reducing recurrence. IU physicians will administer two cycles of a drug found to be less toxic but similarly effective as more established drugs.

The Department of Radiation Oncology is at the forefront of research into treatment options for patients with lung cancer who are not candidates for traditional surgery due to medical complications.

IU physicians designed the first study of the use of extracranial stereotactic body radiation therapy for early stage lung cancer patients who were considered medically inoperable because of extenuating health problems. Enrollment of the initial 47 study patients began in February 2000 and was concluded two years later.

“I think of this as a lung sparing approach,” said Ronald C. McGarry, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and an IU professor of radiation oncology. “If we can treat early stage lung cancer without taking out a lung or a large part of one, it is to the advantage of the patient.”

Early stage lung cancer typically is treated with surgery, conventional radiation, or both. What distinguishes the extracranial stereotactic body radiation treatment from more traditional radiation therapy is the sparing of healthy tissue from exposure to X-rays. Extracranial stereotactic body radiation is a minimally invasive therapy that uses 3-D planning to precisely target lung tumors, sparing the surrounding tissue. It uses a specially designed, lightweight body frame that limits mobility to ensure the precision of the photon beams aimed at the tumor.

By precisely targeting only the tumor, higher doses of radiation over a shorter period of time can be administered. Patients receive three treatments over seven to 10 days, verses standard therapy where patients receive 35 treatments over a six-week period.

“The pioneering effort at IU and several other international centers from as far away as Japan and Germany is showing that stereotactic radiation therapy is another important treatment option for all patients who are in the early stages of lung cancer,” said Dr. McGarry. “The IU results have received national attention which has prompted the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group of the National Cancer Institute to fund clinical trials across the U.S. and Canada involving this therapy.”

For additional information on either trial, contact Kathy Tudor, R.N., research nurse coordinator, at 317-278-7267.

Mary Hardin




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