According to the new study by researchers from the UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, using high doses of radiation with an ablative radiotherapy technique is effective for treatment with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer that is not suitable for surgery. The findings are published in the Journal JAMA Oncology.
In this study, the team has found that the combination treatment to apply Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) along with chemotherapy helps in reducing both toxic side effects and the likelihood of return of cancer. The ULCA team enrolled 28 patients in their study who had either Stage II or III NSCLC. They received a base radiation dose of 4 Gy x 10 fractions and then an SABR boost to target any remaining metabolically active cancer. All patients were given concurrent weekly chemotherapy as well. In this approach, the most promising results were seen in the cohort that received the intermediate dose. The patients received a total of 70Gy in 15 fractions including a 30 Gy boost.
Though most patients experienced some adverse effects like fatigue, sore throat and cough, inflammation of lungs etc. but did not exhibit any severe side effects from their treatment. After a period of two years, the local control rates were 74.1%, 85.7% and 100% for low, intermediate and high dose cohorts. The survival rate was 30%, 76.2% and 55.6% respectively.
“Our data shows patients may benefit from targeted, high-dose radiation with chemotherapy if it’s done thoughtfully with adaptive radiation,” said Beth Neilsen, MD, an author of the study and a radiation oncology resident at UCLA. The limitations of the study were the small study size and follow-up period. The promising results of this study will spur future trials to include consolidation immunotherapy in the treatment setting.
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