How Effective is Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer?

by May 28, 2021Lung Cancer

The role of radiation therapy for lung cancer is constantly changing and evolving as techniques get more precise.  It used to be that radiation was limited to patients where surgery was not an option. But not anymore.

Lung Cancer Treatment Options

That’s because treating lung cancer is a delicate balance between killing the cancer while not harming vital organs that are close to the lungs.

Doctors can use chemotherapy, surgery and radiation to destroy the lung cancer, and sometimes they use a combination of therapies. While surgery has been considered the gold standard, radiation is challenging that standard.

Radiation, like the type offered at the CyberKnife Center of Miami, offers a high-tech precise solution that’s becoming more viable because studies show promising results.

“I had lung cancer and was treated at CyberKnife Miami, and my tumors are gone,” says Nick, a CyberKnife Miami patient.

And Nick is not alone.

“The diagnosis of lung cancer is scary.  We know that, and we are here to listen, help and treat,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.  “But we treat a lot of lung cancer patients using a high-tech, extremely precise form of radiation called stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT for short.” 

CyberKnife Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer

SBRT, which is used at CyberKnife Miami, is a non-surgical option for early-stage, inoperable non-small cell lung cancer as well as tumors in difficult-to-reach locations like near the chest wall. It may also be an alternative for patients who don’t want surgery.

In a multicenter Japanese lung cancer study, 180 patients received SBRT. Of the patients,120 had inoperable lung cancer, and 60 had operable cancer.  The three-year survival rate for the operable cancer patients was 74-percent and 59-percent for the inoperable patients.

With SBRT, beams hit the tumor from different angles, but because SBRT is so focused there is less damage to surrounding tissue. The system can literally monitor a patient’s breathing and keep track of a patient’s subtle movements so only the tumor is targeted. There are also fewer treatments with most patients only needing one to five. 

Here are the other benefits of CyberKnife for lung cancer:

  • Lower risk of damaging healthy tissue
  • Better quality of life while undergoing treatment
  • Excellent tumor control with precise radiation while sparing healthy tissue
  • Ability to track respiratory movements during treatment 
  • Treatments take 30 to 60 minutes and are outpatient
  • If tumors come back, they can be treated again

Cancer Treatment Center Miami

CyberKnife has been used for more than two decades, helping hundreds of thousands of patients. This technology has even helped patients who were told they couldn’t have any more radiation and in patients where tumors were deemed inoperable, like lung cancer patients.

CyberKnife Miami opened its doors nearly 20 years ago and was the first CyberKnife center to open in the Southeast.

Since that time, we have successfully treated thousands of patients.

Our patients are not statistics. They are individuals with families and friends and lives they look forward to living – cancer-free. Our staff knows that treating our patients with compassion and state-of-the-art technology goes hand in hand. That’s a distinct advantage we have over other cancer treatment centers. 

If you are interested in learning more about CyberKnife Miami for lung cancer call us now at 305-279-2900 or go to our website

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