SABR Proven Effective for Early-Stage NSCLC: 2024 Study Highlights

May 20, 2024

According to research from a phase III randomized international study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, patients with operable stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) achieved comparable overall survival rates with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), also known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), rather than the current standard of care, surgery. The findings, published in The Lancet Oncology, are from the first randomized clinical trials comparing SABR and surgery.

In 2024, a follow-up study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology confirmed these findings and provided additional data showing that patients treated with SABR had better quality of life scores post-treatment compared to those who underwent surgery. This study emphasized the advantages of SABR for patients with comorbid conditions, such as emphysema and pulmonary hypertension, which can complicate surgical outcomes.

For decades, the standard treatment for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer has been surgery, but the procedure can be difficult for patients with poor lung function. SABR for lung cancer offers a treatment option to patients who are not candidates for surgery due to tumor size, location, or heart disease.

At Philadelphia CyberKnife, we treat lung cancer patients with stereotactic body radiation therapy using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System. The CyberKnife is a painless and nonsurgical outpatient treatment with minimal to no side effects. During the CyberKnife treatment, hundreds of highly concentrated and precise beams of radiation are targeted directly to tumors and lesions in the lung. As the patient breathes during the treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves with the rise and fall of their chest, meaning that healthy tissue is protected from radiation and only the tumor is treated.

“As a doctor who has treated hundreds of patients with CyberKnife radiosurgery, the findings from the MD Anderson study and the 2024 follow-up exceeded my expectations,” said John Lamond, M.D., Medical Director at Philadelphia CyberKnife. “SABR is not only the preferred treatment for inoperable stage I non-small cell lung cancer but also is a legitimate option for operable patients as well.”

Discover more about lung cancer and Philadelphia CyberKnife’s advanced treatments by contacting us today for personalized information and support.