Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 5, 2007
Stage I non-small cell lung cancer is optimally treated with surgery, but some patients may not be candidates for surgery due to health issues. Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a very precise form of radiation therapy that has been used to treat inoperable, early stage lung cancers. This presentation describes the toxicities seen in a group of inoperable patients with early stage lung cancer.
Patients had T1-2 disease with no lymph node involvement or distant metastases. 55 patients participated, 44 with T1 tumors and 11 with T2 tumors. With one year follow up; there had been no deaths. Treatment was well-tolerated, and side effects included skin reactions, rib fractures, and changes in pulmonary function tests.
This therapy appears to be a safe and well-tolerated option for inoperable patients with early stage lung cancer. Continued toxicity follow-up is needed as previous studies have shown that late toxicities can occur with SRT as far as 10-20 years out.
Partially funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.