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Lung cancer surgery scaled down in trial

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http://www.belleville.com/mld/bellevill ... 368650.htm

A more conservative approach to treating early lung cancer in very sick patients is now being studied at Washington University in St. Louis.

For patients who can tolerate it, doctors usually treat stage I lung cancer by removing the entire lobe of a lung containing the tumor. But people who have poor lung function, heart disease or other serious illness may not be able to survive such radical surgery.

For them, doctors will try removing smaller sections of the lung and using radioactive implants to kill off any remaining cancer cells.

"In this trial, we'll remove half of a lobe or less," said Dr. Bryan Meyers, an associate professor of surgery. "The less lung we take, the more lung function we leave behind, so patients will be better able to handle the surgery.

"Without this option, we would be able to treat the high-risk patients only with radiation and chemotherapy, but these treatments aren't as successful as actually removing the cancer."

For information about this study, call (314) 362-8598.

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