Study Finds SBRT Better than Surgery in Post-Treatment Lung Cancer Survival

In a recent new study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, patients with non-small cell lung cancer who underwent stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) had a better post-treatment survival rate than those who received surgery.

The gold standard for the treatment of early-stage lung cancer has long been surgery, but accurately targeted radiation is emerging as a viable nonsurgical alternative, especially for older patients who have a high risk of surgical complications.

For the study, researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center wanted to determine the post-treatment survival rate of patients from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) with non-small cell lung cancer.  They identified 76,623 patients who underwent surgery and 8,216 patients who received SBRT.  The investigation revealed that both forms of treatment resulted in low rates of post-treatment mortality: 2.1% of patients who underwent surgery died within 30 days of treatment compared with 0.7% of patients who received focused radiation.  The gap between the mortality rates of SBRT and surgery widened with age: For patients ages 71 to 75, surgery led to a 1.87% greater risk of mortality compared with SBRT; for patients ages 76 to 80, the difference in risk increased to 2.8%; and for patients older than 80, the difference increased to 3% within 30 days after treatment.

At Columbus CyberKnife, lung tumors are treated with SBRT using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless, nonsurgical outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects.  During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung.  As the patient breathes during the CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body, meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.

To learn more about how Columbus CyberKnife treats lung tumors with CyberKnife technology, please click here.

National Radon Action Month

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year.  In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon.

Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil.  It seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air, and in a few areas, dissolves into ground water and can be released into the air when the water is used.  Radon gas usually exists at very low levels outdoors.  However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as underground mines, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

For both adults and children, most exposure to radon comes from being indoors in homes, offices, schools, and other buildings.  The levels of radon in homes and other buildings depend on the characteristics of the rock and soil in the area.  As a result, radon levels vary greatly in different parts of the United States, sometimes even within neighborhoods.

Being exposed to radon can be extremely harmful.  Radon gas in the air breaks down quickly, giving off tiny radioactive particles.  When inhaled, these radioactive particles can damage the cells that line the lung.  Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, the only cancer proven to be associated with inhaling radon.

Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure.  If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.  For learn more, please call 1–800–SOS–RADON (1–800–767–7236) to reach an automated system for ordering materials and listen to informational recordings or click here today.

Radiosurgery Society Study Examines Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Outcomes in the Treatment of Lung Metastases

The Radiosurgery Society (RSS), a non-profit medical society dedicated to advancing the science and clinical practice of radiosurgery, recently published a study using data from its RSSearch Patient Registry, a multi-institutional, observational registry established to standardize data collection from patients treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

The study was titled “Lung metastases treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy: the RSSearch® patient Registry’s experience,” and examined outcomes from 447 patients treated for lung metastases using SBRT at 30 academic and community cancer centers participating in the RSSearch Patient Registry.

The study found five year survival of 21.8 percent consistent with the survival benefit of local treatment such as surgery previously published for low volume metastatic disease (oligometastases).  The study also found that patients with smaller metastases treated with higher doses of SBRT with a biological effective dose of at least 100Gy had the best local control.  There was no difference in local control between different tumor types, however survival was improved for breast and head and neck cancer consistent with a longer natural history.

“The RSSearch Patient Registry is an important resource in expanding knowledge and understanding of SRS and SBRT treatment practices and outcomes,” said Joanne Davis, Ph.D., Executive Director, RSS.  “Not only is this the sixth manuscript generated from RSSearch data, it is the third focused on SBRT for the treatment of lung tumors, providing clinicians with important clinical information on the use of SRS/SBRT to treat this highly prevalent and very deadly form of cancer.”

At Columbus CyberKnife, lung tumors are treated with SBRT using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects.  During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung.  As the patient breathes during the CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body – meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.

To learn more about treating lung tumors with CyberKnife technology, please click here.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is officially Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  The event started back in 1995 as Lung Cancer Awareness Day.  As the lung cancer community and the lung cancer movement grew, the awareness activities increased and the day matured into Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  During the month, people throughout the country come together to support the lung cancer community and raise awareness about the disease. 

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs.  These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue.  As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood. 

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for about 27% of all cancer related deaths.  Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.  The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 221,200 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2015, with 10,000 of those cases being diagnosed in Ohio. 

Although smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, lung cancer risk also is increased by exposure to secondhand smoke; environmental exposures, such as radon, workplace toxins (e.g., asbestos, arsenic), and air pollution.  The risk of lung cancer can be reduced by quitting smoking and by eliminating or reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental and workplace risk factors. 

At Columbus CyberKnife, lung cancer patients are treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects.  During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and incredibly precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung.  As the patient breathes during the CyberKnife treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of his/her body – meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated. 

To learn more about treating lung cancer with CyberKnife technology, please contact Columbus CyberKnife at (614) 898-8300 or visit www.ColumbusCK.com

Metastatic Lung Cancer: CyberKnife Treatment Effective According to Recent Study

In a recent study examining the efficacy of CyberKnife® for the treatment of lung cancer metastases, researchers determined that patients may experience better local control and low toxicity.

The study results were drawn from a retrospective analysis of 95 patients with 134 lung metastases treated with CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). This treatment method precisely targets tumors with high-dose radiation that is delivered in five or fewer treatments. The approach offers an important option for patients with recurring metastatic tumors who may require a nonsurgical treatment method. Read details of the study here.

Lung cancer is among the most common metastatic cancers. If diagnosed at a later stage, the cancer is likely to have spread, or metastasized. Common sites of lung cancer metastasis include the lymph nodes, the brain and bones.

At Columbus CyberKnife, lung cancer and metastatic tumors are frequently treated conditions. To learn more about how CyberKnife treats metastatic cancer, visit our Conditions Treated page.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Patient Education: Why Non-Smokers Get Lung Cancer

While smoking is one of the main contributing factors to a lung cancer diagnosis, non-smokers can still be at risk. The American Cancer Society estimates that 10 to 15 percent of lung cancer patients in the U.S. have never smoked.

Other than smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke, asbestos, radon or having a family history of the disease can also increase the chances of a lung cancer diagnosis. There is limited research on lung cancer patients who have no history of smoking, and doctors are still working to learn more about risk factors that most impact a diagnosis.

If you find yourself facing a lung cancer diagnosis, learn about all the options available to you to treat your condition. Columbus CyberKnife treats lung tumors with advanced CyberKnife® technology. Treatment is noninvasive and may be delivered as a primary treatment or as a secondary therapy to boost a different primary treatment method. For more information on our lung cancer treatment approach, contact us.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Clinical Trial Reports Improved Survival Among Advanced Lung Cancer Patients Using “Combination Approach”

A new clinical trial recently reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that combining stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with chemotherapy improved survival rates among 24 stage IV lung cancer patients.

“SBRT is a type of radiation therapy in which a few very high doses of radiation are delivered from multiple angles to small, well-defined tumors,” said the study’s author, Dr. Robert Timmerman. “The goal is to deliver a radiation dose high enough to kill the cancer, while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and organs.”

The combination of chemotherapy with SBRT resulted in a median overall survival of 20.4 months compared to the usual 6- to 9-month overall survival among patients who only received chemotherapy. The combination treatment approach also resulted in improved progression-free survival.

To read more results from this clinical trial, click here.

Columbus CyberKnife treats early and advanced stage lung cancer with SBRT using CyberKnife® technology, an advanced radiosurgery system that delivers targeted doses of radiation to tumors in five or fewer treatments. To learn more about this advanced, cancer-fighting technology contact our center.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

New Research Shows Dual Screenings for Head, Neck and Lung Cancers Could Improve Early Detection

Results from a recent study completed by a team of researchers affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute provides rationale for a national clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of adding head and neck screening to lung cancer screening programs.

The researchers determined that adding head and neck cancer screenings to lung cancer screenings recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force would likely improve early detection and survival, as those who are most at risk for lung cancer are also most at risk for head and neck cancer, according to the article.

Click here to read about the study published in the journal Cancer. And if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a form of head and neck cancer or lung cancer, contact Columbus CyberKnife to learn about our treatment approach using advanced CyberKnife® technology.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.