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Cancer Radiother. 2011 Oct;15(6-7):522-6. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2011.07.241. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

[Stereotactic radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer: From concept to clinical reality. 2011 update].

[Article in French]

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Service de pneumologie, hôpital Louis-Pradel, hospices civils de Lyon, 28, avenue du Doyen-Jean-Lépine, 69500 Bron, France.


Only 60% of patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a priori bearing a favorable prognosis, undergo radical resection because of the very frequent co-morbidities occurring in smokers, precluding surgery to be safely performed. Stereotactic radiotherapy consists of the use of multiple radiation microbeams, allowing high doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumour (ranging from 7.5 to 20 Gy per fraction) in a small number of fractions (one to eight on average). Several studies with long-term follow-up are now available, showing the effectiveness of stereotactic radiotherapy to control stage I/II non-small cell lung cancer in medically inoperable patients. Local control rates are consistently reported to be above 95% with a median survival of 34 to 45 months. Because of these excellent results, stereotactic radiation therapy is now being evaluated in operable patients in several randomized trials with a surgical arm. Ultimately, the efficacy of stereotactic radiotherapy in early-stage tumours leads to hypothesize that it may represent an opportunity for locally-advanced tumors. The specific toxicities of stereotactic radiotherapy mostly correspond to radiation-induced chest wall side effects, especially for peripheral tumours. The use of adapted fractionation schemes has made feasible the use of stereotactic radiotherapy to treat proximal tumours. Overall, from a technical concept to the availability of specific treatment devices and the publication of clinical results, stereotactic radiotherapy represents a model of implementation in thoracic oncology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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