Healthcare Industry News:  non-small-cell lung cancer 

Devices Oncology

 News Release - November 27, 2013

Study Suggests Non-Invasive Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy May Be Suitable Alternative to Surgery for Early-Stage Lung Cancer Patients

Results of Review¹ by Harley Street and University College Hospital London Presented in Online Edition of 'Radiotherapy and Oncology' (Green Journal)

LONDON, Nov. 27, 2013 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Treating early stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with advanced radiotherapy appears to be a viable alternative to surgery, according to researchers who carried out a retrospective comparative study sponsored by the London-based South East Cancer Oncology Group.

A review was carried out of treatments given to a large number of patients with Stage I NSCLC treated with stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) globally over a seven-year period and the findings have been presented in the latest online edition of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Europe's leading peer-reviewed industry publication. The review suggests that survival rates can be equivalent to surgery for this population of patients, indicating that a non-invasive, out-patient approach is a viable alternative to traditional surgery.

As described in the study abstract: From a pool of several hundred relevant studies the researchers selected 45 reports covering 3771 patients treated with SABR for NSCLC that fulfilled the selection criteria. Two-year survival of the 3201 patients with localized stage I NSCLC treated with SABR was 70% with a two-year tumor control rate of 91%. This was compared to a 68% two-year survival of 2038 stage I patients treated with surgery.

"This suggests that SABR may offer a viable alternative to surgery for both inoperable and operable early-stage NSCLC patients," said Dr. Francesca Solda, clinical oncologist at Harley Street, who coordinated the study. "Surgery for lung cancer can have significant side effects and long recovery periods, and our research suggests that outcomes can be comparable between surgery and non-invasive stereotactic body radiotherapy." While these results are promising, the study points out that data were derived from previously published reports, and that a direct comparison between SABR and conventional surgery should be a priority for further research.

Patients at both Harley Street and University College Hospital London are treated using advanced radiosurgery equipment, including the TrueBeam™ system from Varian Medical Systems (VAR) for both radiosurgery and conventional fractionated radiotherapy.

¹ Soldà F, Lodge M, Ashley S, Whitington A, Goldstraw P, Brada M. Stereotactic radiotherapy (SABR) for the treatment of primary non-small cell lung cancer; Systematic review and comparison with a surgical cohort.
Radiother Oncol. 109 (2013) 1-7.


The paper summarized here was published by the journal, Radiotherapy and Oncology, online and in the October 2013 issue. Treatment outcomes described in this paper are not intended to represent typical outcomes in a general patient population undergoing stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) for lung cancer. Varian, as a medical device manufacturer, cannot and does not recommend any treatment technique or schedule. The study reviewed the results of SABR treatments for early-stage lung cancer at numerous sites around the world over a seven-year period, using diverse technologies for the delivery of SABR. Varian Medical Systems manufactures such devices; however, the study did not require that patients receive treatment on any particular SBRT system.

Important Safety Information

Radiation treatments may cause side effects that can vary depending on the part of the body being treated. The most frequent ones are typically temporary and may include, but are not limited to, irritation to the respiratory, digestive, urinary or reproductive systems, fatigue, nausea, skin irritation, and hair loss. In some patients, they can be severe, and can include but are not limited to radiation induced liver disease (or radiation hepatitis), fractured ribs and persistent nausea. Treatment sessions may vary in complexity and time. Radiation treatment is not appropriate for all cancers. Cancer patients should discuss the potential for side effects and their severity as well as the benefits of radiation with their doctors to determine if radiation treatments are right for them.

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,400 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and 72 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter.

Source: Varian Medical Systems

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