Radiation therapy for lung cancer
We offer two primary types of radiation therapy for lung cancer:
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT): Delivers high doses of radiation to lung cancer cells from outside the body, using a variety of machine-based technologies.
- High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy (internal radiation): Delivers high doses of radiation from implants placed close to, or inside, the tumor(s) in the body.
Amifostine is a drug we use at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) to protect against dry mouth and other common side effects of radiation therapy for lung cancer. When tumors lay close to the salivary glands or esophagus, as is often the case in lung cancer, radiation therapy may be absorbed by these healthy cells. Dry mouth, difficulty swallowing and lung inflammation may result.
Amifostine is a radio-protectant, which means it shields nearby healthy tissues from the damaging effects of radiation therapy while leaving cancer cells responsive to treatment.
Your CTCA® care team may administer Amifostine just before your radiation treatment using a sub-cutaneous injection. This delivery method is typically better tolerated with fewer side effects, like nausea or vomiting.