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Stereotactic radiotherapy for early stage non-small cell lung cancer

  • Received : 2015.06.12
  • Accepted : 2015.06.17
  • Published : 2015.06.30

Abstract

Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) represents a consolidated treatment option for patients with medically inoperable early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The clinical evidence accumulated in the past decade supports its use as an alternative to surgery with comparable survival outcomes. Due to its limited toxicity, SBRT is also applicable to elderly patients with very poor baseline pulmonary function or other severe comorbidities. Recent comparative studies in operable patients raised the issue of the possible use of SBRT also for this subgroup, with quite promising results that still should be fully confirmed by prospective trials with long-term follow-up. Aim of this review is to summarize and discuss the major studies conducted over the years on SBRT and to provide data on the efficacy and toxicity of this radiotherapy technique for stage I NSCLC. Technical aspects and quality of life related issues are also discussed, with the goal to provide information on the current role and limitations of SBRT in clinical practice.

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