Stereotactic radiation appears as good as surgery in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer

Thursday, December 16, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/17/2010)

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) may be just as good as surgery for treating patients 75 years of age and older with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to research presented at the 2010 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology, held from Dec. 9 to 11.

David Palma, M.D., of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a population-based matched analysis of elderly (aged 75 and older) stage I NSCLC patients, 110 of whom had surgery and 81 of whom had SBRT largely due to being medically inoperable, to compare outcomes in the two groups.

The researchers found that 30-day mortality was lower in the SBRT group, at 1.6 percent, compared with 8.2 percent after surgery. Overall survival (OS) at one year was 75 percent after surgery and 87 percent after SBRT. At three years, OS was 60 percent after surgery and 41 percent after SBRT (log-rank P = 0.16).

"In this population-based matched-pair analysis of patients 75 years or older, there was no difference in OS between surgery or SBRT, despite the fact that a large majority of SBRT patients were unfit for surgery and controlling for comorbidity was not possible," the authors write.

One author disclosed a research grant from Varian Medical Systems Inc.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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