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New Technology Boosts Lung Cancer Treatment

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http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/ ... 28843.html

-- Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new lung-sparing procedure may provide an alternative to traditional radiation treatments for lung cancer patients with health problems that make them poor candidates for surgery.

According to researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, a Phase I clinical trial of 47 people with early stage non-small cell lung cancer found they responded well to "extracranial stereotactic body radiation" therapy.

"Patients receiving the extracranial stereotactic body radiation were spared the trauma of surgery but were able to undergo higher doses of radiation for a shorter period of time than the standard treatment," principal investigator Dr. Ronald C. McGarry, professor of radiation oncology, said in a prepared statement.

"I think of the treatment as a lung-sparing approach, and this study shows it is one of the most effective options for lung cancer patients for whom surgery is not an option," he said.

The technology uses precision mapping of the tumor and a stereotactic body frame that keeps patients virtually immobile. Higher-than-normal doses of radiation are directed at the tumor site without harming surrounding healthy tissue.

In this study, patients received three radiation treatments in seven to 10 days instead of the standard radiation therapy of 35 treatments over six weeks. Only one patient had a return of the treated cancer, but 14 of the 47 patients experienced a spread of their lung cancer.

The findings appear in the Nov. 15 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.

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